Blast from the past? Comcast 2011 agreement with Verizon lives on, in one real sense

Tom Paine

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I think an old Google Alert brought this to my attention (See actual webpage) .

My first though was to wonder if this was something new, or left over from the old JMA (Joint Marketing Agreement) that came with Comcast and other cable partners' $3.6 billion spectrum sale to Verizon in 2011. It was the latter, Comcast confirmed.

Under the JMA, the plan was that Verizon would resell Comcast cable services (which in some areas competed directly with Verizon's FiOS), and Comcast would resell Verizon's wireless services. Its unlikely much was sold in either direction; Comcast says it has never released any numbers. And a related joint product development effort also fizzled out.

The webpage is certainly functioning, though I haven't determined yet whether it could actually lead to a transaction.

Of course, Comcast has more recently activated its MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) rights with Verizon per the 2011 agreement and created a new wireless business unit, for whatever it may be planning in that sphere. Comments made this week by a Comcast executive suggest the company is still evaluating its options.

Many analysts have expected it to try some combination utilizing MVNO (it can also use Sprint) and its own enormous WiFi network, though my understanding is getting these to work in synch with each other is still difficult technologically.

Also, separately, Comcast indicated that its not prepared to comment yet on progress to date on its arrangement with Amazon allowing it (Amazon) to resell Comcast cable services directly to consumers, announced in March. The Amazon/Comcast is seen as an effort to try a different customer service model (Amazon's).

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