FCC Stops Clock on AT&T's Alltel Buy
The Federal Communications Commission today stopped the unofficial 180-day shot clock on its review of AT&T's proposed purchased of Atlantic Tele-Network's Alltel assets. The deal, first proposed earlier this year, would give AT&T wireless spectrum licenses in the 700, 850, and 1900MHz bands, network assets, retail stores, and 585,000 subscribers. According to the FCC, AT&T has not adequately explained how it will transition the Alltel customers from Alltel's service to its own. Without that information, the FCC cannot complete its review. The FCC says the review was on Day 175 out of 180. Verizon Wireless was forced to divest some of Alltel's assets when it purchased the company in 2008. Atlantic Tele-Network picked up some of the assets and continued to run them under the Alltel name. AT&T agreed to pay Atlantic Tele-Network $780 million for the spectrum licenses, assets, and customers. AT&T's Jim Ciccone, EVP of External and Legislative Affairs, said in a statement posted to ATYT's web site, "AT&T is ready, willing and able to make significant network investments in these rural territories to bring HSPA+ and LTE services to Allied’s customers, an investment that will not occur but for this transaction. AT&T has actively worked to address FCC concerns and will continue to work with the Commission until all issues are resolved."