Connecticut’s Department of Public Utility Control has given the thumbs up (by a vote of 3-2) to AT&T’s IP video saying that it is not subject to legacy cable franchising requirements in the state. The PUC agrees with Ma Bell’s contention that video over copper is just another form of data, and it is two-way video, and very different from traditional cable and thus does not fall under legacy franchise rules. This clearly is a big win for Ma Bell, and Connecticut has the right demographic profile to make T’s IPTV service work.
This bothers Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, who is quoted by Connecticut Post as saying, “Without government regulation and a universal service requirement, IPTV providers will cherry-pick the wealthiest and most accessible consumers, leaving the rest of Connecticut with no choice and higher costs.” The ruling can be appealed by him and others, and they have 45 days to do so.
The franchise reforms at a national level are also gaining momentum, thanks to some well placed greasers (oops I meant lobbyists.) UBS Research analysts say, keep an eye on the COPE (Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement) bill – this could change the game a little. It basically has an amendment built in for preserving network neutrality, and also lacks any special build out requirements for new video providers, aka the Bells.
4 thoughts on “Connecticut Gives IPTV Thumbs Up”
Actually, the COPE Act doesn’t have a network neutrality amendment that’s worth anything in it. It just gives the FCC authority to enforce Powell’s “Four Freedoms” policy statement, but lacks any anti-discrimination provisions and doesn’t give the FCC rulemaking authority. The pro net neutrality people are against it. Representative Markey’s amendment would change that, but probably won’t pass . . .
I’m with Cox’s Robbins on this one: sure let’s reform franchising, but let’s do it in a way that is applied to everyone equally not just favoring AT&T and Verizon.
Interesting, since I live in CT. But I think the federal H.R 5252 Video Franchise Reform legislation passed trumps the CT legislation. It gives national franchising rights to the telecom companies. So looks like Blumenthal can’t do anything at this point.
Just wrote about it this morning.