Cisco to FCC: Hurry Up!
Cisco, in its first comment to the FCC on the subject, says that the delay is hurting equipment manufacturers.
"Cisco believes that the lack of a decision by the commission in this matter has adversely affected broadband network investment by both applicants and their Cingular joint venture," writes Cisco director of technology and trade policy Jeffery Campbell. (See Analyst: AT&T Capex Spend Slowing.)
"Changes in network investment caused by regulatory uncertainty or delays in regulatory decision making have impacted the network and telecommunications equipment industry in the past and are currently having an impact," Campbell writes. (See Is Lightspeed Slowing?) "Further delays in this matter will only continue the problem, which requires prompt action."
AT&T and BellSouth first filed for merger approval in September. The FCC has delayed the vote several times since. (See AT&T Rages at FCC Delay and McDowell May Vote on AT&T-BellSouth Merger.)
The delay is being caused by a standoff between, on the one side, Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, who have concerns about the anti-competitive impact of the merger, and pro-merger Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.
The FCC meets next on December 20. Sources say pressure is mounting in Washington for the FCC to vote on the merger that day. — Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading