Time Warner, AT&T To Partner in Internet Venture
Page 1 of 1
One day after winning preliminary approval for its purchase of cable operator Tele-Communications Inc., AT&T Corp. is reportedly in discussions with Time Warner Inc. about a possible Internet alliance.
According to published reports, the two companies will align in a joint venture that would allow AT&T to use Time Warner's cable systems to provide Internet access. The venture could be announced by mid-January.
AT&T would foot the bill for most of the upgrades to Time Warner's network that would be necessary to support high-speed Internet access and voice transmission.
The reports said AT&T is also looking to seal similar ventures with other cable firms. Discussions with those firms could begin soon after the Time Warner deal is announced.
The reports come one day after AT&T and TCI told city officials in Portland, Ore., they don't plan to abide by a city ordinance requiring them to open TCI's cable system to other Internet providers.
AT&T said it will comply with all provisions of an ordinance approving the transfer of TCI's cable system in Portland to AT&T with the exception of a requirement that other Internet providers be able to access TCI's cable network.
An AT&T spokesman said the company is balking against the provision because it believes the requirement is unlawful. AT&T and TCI maintain city governments have no authority to set rules using the open-access provision. The companies say that authority lies solely with the Federal Communications Commission or Congress.