You think they're going to sell their RBOC business? Who is a potential buyer for that? Or are they just going to spin it off as an independent company to sink or swim?
It is highly unlikely the FCC would allow them to keep the areas they've built out to fiber and spin off only the copper. Spinning off their RBOC business would have to be an all or nothing deal. AT&T's TV offering would be Directv only, Uverse would be spun off along with the lines that deliver it.
I suppose AT&T could still see that as a good thing, they'd have a national TV offering to go with their national wireless offering and be more direct competition for a Comcast that would be essentially national.
Why do you think AT&T has only run fiber so far and is still using the copper to peoples home?
AT&T has for years been developing and working to go to a wireless system for everything. They want uverse to be wireless. Think about that for a moment and its implications. Its an interesting way to get around a lot of hurdles.
This deal is all about bandwidth. TV stations don't need two way bandwidth. Only on demand. Wireless spectrum is precious. Have a massive amount of bandwidth that can be used to offer static feeds of stations and then have a wireless system built to Handel all Internet and on demand, over the top, and Handel all your phone system.
This dumps massive layers of government red tape that now exists on all copper phone systems as well. Massive. Im Not sure that can be stated loudly enough.
It also allows AT&T to expand their full phone, (cell phone and home phone which they now have wireless ones) Internet, and TV offerings to anyone anywhere without having to worry about who owns the right away that carries the signals via wires to people's homes. It turns the concept of having to have franchise rights in areas to offer video services on its head for the traditional cable systems. While some areas have allowed more than one, how often do we actually see two carriers anywhere? It doesn't exsist.
And to be clear, AT&T isn't the only one who wants to do this. Verizon does as well. They have tested high speed home wireless Internet in several areas. The peope, that will be behind in this move is cable companies. Unless they go out and pick up sprint or mobile etc. but Verizon and AT&T both want to offer all services to everyone in the country, and I think at some point they will. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to hear a FIOS is considering buying dish talk soon so they can leverage the same kind of offerings and added bandwidth that would give to them. Although I think dish is not as well positioned to do for Verizon what DIRECTV can do for AT&T.
I think the only reason this stuff hasn't been built out just yet is they still need to get the tech right, but its coming.
A far as copper, yeah I see them spinning the company off or selling it. Verizon as I recall has successfully sold off massive parts of its copper systems in the middle of the country to some other companies. There is money in it for someone, but with the way things are changing, AT&T wants to head in a different direction long term.
This deal IMHO isn't about what it can do for the two companies in the short term, but rather the very long term.
The opportunities for scale of adding six million video customers to directv and more leverage with channels and all that stuff, that's just a secondary benefit IMHO. And those benefits may be great for some of us. Maybe I'll get the pac12 someday.
. But that wouldn't be for quite a while.
I would expect that one of the first things that would happen that we might actually see is they would merge the departments that sign contracts with channels and slowly get both companies the same channels and offereings. But we will see. But beyond that, and more opportunities to bundle services, I don't see much change for how DIRECTV does business as a whole. Especially not anytime soon or in regards to how our systems work in houses any time soon.