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Expanded Alliance Makes BellSouth DSL Service Available to DirecTV Subs

Feb 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Telephone company BellSouth said Tuesday it has extended its bundling relationship with satellite operator DirecTV Group and expanded the alliance to make DSL service available to DirecTV customers in BellSouth’s markets.

The partnership announced Tuesday builds upon one struck between the two companies in 2004, which so far has led to 523,000 BellSouth customers signing up for DirecTV service.

Under the new five-year alliance, BellSouth will continue to market the satellite service to customers in its nine-state market, but will now also market its DSL service to DirecTV customers in BellSouth’s markets.

BellSouth’s relationship with DirecTV was one of many established in 2003 and 2004 by telephone companies looking to augment their voice and high-speed data services with a video product. Verizon struck a similar deal with DirecTV, while AT&T Inc., formerly known as SBC Communications, partnered with EchoStar Communications.

However, BellSouth appears to be the only Regional Bell Operating Co. that is looking to continue such a relationship with a satellite operator. Both Verizon and AT&T are spending big to deploy fiber-optic networks that can deliver video to residential customers, and have appeared in recent months to be de-emphasizing their relationships with the satellite companies.

BellSouth, meanwhile, has held back on deploying video in the manner that Verizon and AT&T have. While the company already has a small cable operation in a handful of southern states, the company has indicated it is taking a go-slow approach to deploying fiber, in part waiting to see how the other RBOCs fare with their efforts.