AT&T Concessions May Ensure FCC Yes Vote For BellSouth Merger

It’s like some odd variation on Dorothy’s trip back to Kansas from Oz — the return ticket was always within her own power. Now it looks like the solution to the deadlocked FCC stance on the AT&T-BellSouth merger was in the acquiring company’s grasp all along: concessions meaningful enough on net neutrality and other issues to move Democratic FCC commissioners “no” to the “yes” column. In a <a href=""letter (pdf) submitted to the FCC Thursday, AT&T outlined its “final merger commitments” (including yet another statement that it doesn’t believe the concessions should be necessary).
Reuters: A vote could come as early as Friday. “The No. 1 U.S. telephone carrier said it would sell off certain wireless airwaves in the 2.5 gigahertz band, offer a $19.95 per month stand-alone basic high-speed Internet service and for up to 24 months would not charge content providers like Google Inc. to speed their services to consumers.” The company also extended a promised freeze for some wholesale rates to 48 months from 30 months.
AP: The net neutrality commitment and other concessions come after “a week of marathon negotiations” with lawyers for Democrats Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein; Republican commissioner Robert McDowell’s recusal gave the Dems more power.
Related: As The FCC Turns: McDowell Declines Right To Vote; AT&T-BellSouth Stalled