Judge: U-Verse Is A Cable Service
He so isn't getting an AT&T Christmas card....
While Verizon initially signed a number of franchise agreements with towns and cities to offer FiOS (a fiber/coax hybrid), AT&T instead has told communities that their U-Verse VDSL IPTV service technically isn't cable, so it isn't governed by franchise agreements. Towns and cities that challenge this assertion have traditionally been greeted with an AT&T lawsuit.
A U.S. federal court this week said that cable franchise rules do apply to U-Verse
A U.S. District Court in Connecticut ruled on Wednesday that AT&T's U-verse would be subject to the country's Cable Act that requires "cable operators" to apply for local franchising and other state regulatory requirements. The ruling overturns a June 2006 decision by Connecticut's Department of Public Utility Control, which said AT&T's Internet protocol-based television service did not fall within the federal definition of cable service.
Both AT&T and Verizon have spent the last few years lobbying for the passage of state-level franchise agreements under the guise of wanting to bring consumers lower-priced television. Their primary interest here is really the elimination of build-out requirements for next-gen networks to improve ROI, though many of the 21 state bills passed so far also eliminate consumer protections
, public access television and local eminent domain rights.