AT&T, SBC seek approval

Citing a variety of benefits from greater technological innovation to national security enhancements, SBC and AT&T officials launched the formal approval process today of their planned merger with a joint Federal Communications Commission filing.

According to the filing, the two companies could create a unified IP-based network for government customers by joining the networks they maintain separately. The greater scale and scope of the combined network will allow agency officials to more efficiently implement advanced network capabilities.

"This will allow the combined company to support more fully the federal enterprise architecture program, a governmentwide network architecture being developed for improved communications and data sharing among federal agencies and federal, state and local governments," the filing states.

The combination of the networks will also provide more efficient routing of communications and redundancies that allow greater reliability and recoverability, company officials wrote.

"In the past, many classified networks often were designed with separate long-distance and local components," the filing states. "Greater security and reliability can be achieved with a single, integrated end-to-end network than with multiple networks. Thus, as the Defense Department's need for integrated, worldwide networks increases, a combined AT&T-SBC will be better positioned than the individual companies to provide these networks on a secure, end-to-end basis."

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