FCC approves CenturyLink-Qwest merger with conditions

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as expected granted its approval of CenturyLink's (NYSE: CTL) merger with Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q).  

Of course, the FCC has granted the approval of the deal with various conditions to expand its network, including a broadband adoption targeted at low-income consumers in its newly combined 37 state territory.

CenturyLink will be required to offer qualifying households broadband starting at less than $10 per month and a computer for less than $150, and keep the window open for five years.

From a broadband speed perspective, the newly combined company will have to expand the capabilities of Qwest's current broadband network to enable download speeds of at least four Mbps to at least four million homes and businesses in addition to anchor institutions such as schools and libraries.

And with CenturyLink and Qwest upping the ante of their respective broadband offerings to support 25 and even 40 Mbps-based services, the FCC would also like the new companies to double the amount of homes and businesses that can get 12 Mbps broadband and triple the number that can get 40 Mbps-capable broadband speeds.

Last April, CenturyLink announced its intention to purchase Qwest in a stock deal for $10.6 billion, including the assumption of $11.8 billion in debt.

With the FCC conditionally approving the deal, CenturyLink is only one step away from completing the deal before April, leaving only the Oregon State regulators to approve the deal. In addition to the FCC, 19 states, including most recently Washington State and Minnesota, approved the deal.

For more:
- see the release (PDF)
- The Hill has this article

Related articles:
Report: FCC is ready to approve the CenturyLink-Qwest deal
CenturyLink-Qwest merger gets Washington State regulatory approval
CenturyLink-Qwest merger gets Minnesota PUC's approval
CenturyLink sees Qwest merger as path to facilitate business, broadband growth