SBC, Verizon ready to take on the cities

SBC and Verizon may have received a little setback in their IPTV efforts from the Texas legislature but they are not giving up, and are now preparing for a fight with the cities, according to Austin American-Statesman. They will start offering the services to the consumers, regardless. Their argument – well since phone companies pay the right of the way for their phone service to the cities why do they have to pay the franchise fees for video. After all IPTV is not TV, but Internet service. (I wonder why go the legislature-way, after all… something doesn’t add up!) City officials bristle at this argument.

“That could certainly trigger some legal ramifications,” said Rondella Hawkins, telecommunications and regulatory affairs officer for the City of Austin. “They are still going to be using our right of ways. I don’t understand why they don’t need to get a cable franchise if Time Warner (Cable) and Grande (Communications Inc.) do.”

Still, a whole lot of mudslinging going at this time between cities, the bells and the cable companies.

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