NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The Federal Trade Commission has contacted at least three local telecom carriers to gauge how the AOL/Time Warner merger would affect their ability to provide broadband service, according to a published report Wednesday.|
According to the Financial Times, the FTC contacted at least three Baby Bells to determine if AOL/Time Warner's ability to provide broadband Internet service over Time Warner's cable lines would hamper efforts to supply broadband over digital subscriber lines.
DSLs, provided mainly by the Baby Bells, are the only alternative to broadband over cable lines. The FTC reportedly is looking at a wide range of solutions.
The newspaper quoted an official of one telecom as saying, "The FTC is worried that the merger would be the coup de grace for DSL."
AOL spokeswoman Kathy McKernan would not comment on the report, but said the company's conversations with the FTC "are proceeding well and have been constructive."
"We're confident that we will successfully address any issues that have been raised in our review and we are on track to close [the merger] in the Fall," she said.
Regulatory agencies repeatedly have voiced concerns over access to Time Warner's cable lines for both Internet service providers and content.
Officials of Time Warner, the parent company of CNNfn, and AOL repeatedly have pledged open access publicly, most recently in late July, when both AOL Chairman Steve Case and Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin appeared before the Federal Communications Commission.