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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Monday, February 24... 

T-Mobile, Sprint Amend Terms on Merger Agreement, Including SoftBank Stake
T-Mobile and Sprint have amended the terms of their planned merger, which is now set to take place "as early as April 1, 2020." In a joint press release, the former carrier rivals revealed that their respective Boards have unanimously approved changes in terms that will primarily affect New T-Mobile behind the scenes. The arrangement includes Sprint parent company SoftBank surrendering 48.8 million T-Mobile shares it would have acquired, giving it a 24 percent share-hold after the transaction, with T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom holding 43 percent. The remaining 33 percent will be held by "public shareholders." Other terms include T-Mobile re-issuing to SoftBank its previously surrendered shares, pending the achievement of "certain stock price milestones by New T-Mobile"; the extending of their "outside date" to July 1st; and the modification of "certain other provisions." The amendment, it was noted, will have "no impact on T-Mobile’s previously stated outlook on the New T-Mobile’s synergies, long-term profitability and cash generation." In a statement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere called the actions a "significant step forward toward finally closing this transaction." The merger still, it was noted, remains subject to a few "closing conditions."

FCC: Digital Divide "Closing" as Broadband Competition "Increasing"
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published select data that it claims demonstrates both a "closing" digital divide and "increasing" broadband competition across the country, during the current administration's reign. The Commission is specifically claiming "substantial progress" in both areas over the two-year period from December 2016 to December 2018. Of note, the FCC asserts that those "without any options" for 250/25Mbps and 25/3Mbps fixed terrestrial broadband service fell 74 percent (47 million) and 30 percent (18 million), respectively. The agency also pointed to an alleged general "increase in competition" of 52 percent for both those with one choice for broadband (69.8 million) and "two or more options" (22 million). While the numbers do appear impressive, some view the new statistics as the latest attempt to inflate the perception of success that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has had during his tenure, which has in many ways been defined by his position that eliminating net neutrality would help to expand rural broadband proliferation. Full stats are available via the FCC Web site.

Comcast Names Newest CCO
Comcast has promoted Jennifer Khoury to the position of CCO, succeeding the retiring D'Arcy Rudnay. Khoury, who has been with Comcast for more than 20 years, will oversee both internal and external corporate communications functions. The executive currently oversees the Corporate Digital Communications team, has led Communications for Comcast Cable, and has managed strategic communications for "numerous campaigns and product and technology launches." Khoury will report to Chairman and CEO, Brian Roberts, and SEVP, Adam Miller. Rudnay - who was with Comcast for 16 years before announcing her retirement - will remain on through the end of 2020 in a "senior advisor" capacity.

....Brady Hicks, Faulkner Information Services

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