We are pleased that the Federal Communications Commission has now voted unanimously to approve the spectrum sale and transfer by Comcast and other cable companies to Verizon Wireless. This timely approval in conjunction with the recent Consent Decree negotiated with the Department of Justice, will promote innovation, investment, competition, and consumer choice for video, voice, high-speed Internet, and wireless services in the ways we planned when the deal was announced.
As approved by both agencies, the spectrum transfer and the commercial agreements were found to be pro-consumer and strongly in the public interest. In fact, consumers have already begun to see benefits in the 21 markets where we've begun to jointly market bundled services.
The terms of the FCC's approval will allow for the optimized use of spectrum to benefit consumers and like the DOJ consent decree preserves the most important goals of our agreements. Specifically:
Comcast will be able to market Verizon Wireless products and services across our entire footprint under a renewable agent agreement (for the first five years, we will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless, but Verizon Wireless will not be able to enforce the exclusivity provisions after five years).
Comcast and Verizon Wireless will be able to work together for at least five years in an R&D partnership to develop innovative technologies that integrate wireless and wireline products and services; after five years, we can continue that partnership with the agreement of the DOJ.
Comcast has the right to opt into an MVNO (or reseller) agreement with Verizon Wireless at any time after six months' notice.
Verizon Wireless will be able to market Comcast products and services throughout the vast majority of the Comcast footprint (everywhere outside the FiOS footprint) under a renewable agent agreement; after five years, Verizon Wireless can renew the agreement other than in the DSL footprint where DOJ approval is required.
As we said when the transaction was announced back in December 2011, this is a smart and efficient way for Comcast to deliver a broader array of wireless services, and is an efficient deployment of this spectrum.
We applaud the leadership of Chairman Genachowski, and Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai, for their prompt yet carefully focused review of these transactions and look forward to bringing the benefits to even more consumers across our footprint in the coming months and years.
We expect the transaction to close shortly.