The year is 2025. I wake up and brew myself a cup of Folgerbucks after wriggling into a Hanes of the Loom. Looking out the window to greet a new day, I see my Chevrolyota parked in the driveway. My neighbor across the street is mowing the lawn with his John Deere & Decker.
“Might as well turn on the tube.”
I power on my Sonysungzio and begin to flip through the channels: CNNBC, FOXygen, ABCBS… Coming to the realization that nothing is on, my TV involuntarily powers off.
“Forgot to pay my AT&DTV bill again!”
Ever since AT&T and DirecTV merged in the mid 2010’s, forgetting to pay the TV bill also meant forgetting to pay the phone bill. Gotta walk over to the AT&DTV store, gas is $30 per gallon.
I walk out of my neighborhood and past the Wal-Mart. I think to myself. I remember May 12, 2014 when it was first announced that AT&T and DirecTV were going attempt a merge. It was in reaction to the talks between Comcast and Time Warner. Comcast and Time Warner together had 55 million subscribers. DTV and AT&T U-Verse had 30 and 5 million respective subscribers.
As I’m walking in front of the abandoned Best Buy, I’m brought out of introspection as I’m nearly missed by a flock of low flying Amazon drones.
I return to my thoughts and back to May 2014. I remember there was talk that mergers were probably going to be reviewed by regulators simultaneously.
I walk past the second Wal-Mart. One more block to go.
DirecTV probably saw their only chance for long term survival in AT&T because of their ability to provide broadband. Unlike Dish Network, DirecTV’s main competitor, the company never invested in spectrum, the real estate from which information is transmitted.
I enter my local AT&DTV store.
“Welcome and Hi! If you could please sign in, a representative will be with you shortly”
Noticing the store is nearly empty, I’m annoyed by the formality and sign the roster, anticipating an half hour wait. Some things never change.
Half an hour later I pay my bill, and I begin my trek back. Still a bit bummed for the unnecessary trip, I console myself.
“It could be worse. U-Verse could still be a thing.”