Video Goes to Washington

Daily Wireless has a great post up about the FCC and Congressional Committes latest efforts to referree the battle between telcos and cable operators over video service.

From the post:

AT&T and Verizon have said it would take years for them to obtain the necessary local franchises, from thousands of cities and towns, so they are pressing the FCC and Congress to simplify that process. Executives on both sides of the debate testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee Feb 15th to explain their positions.

A House proposal to speed phone-company entry into local cable markets could save consumers up to $27 billion on their annual household communications expenditures, said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “I am convinced that if we were able to get a bill … it would reduce prices in the neighborhood of $200-$250 per household across the country for the year for all of the different services combined,” Upton told reporters at a Capitol Hill hotel.

Upton, chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, reached an agreement in principle last week on legislation that would award a national cable franchise to phone companies.

Multichannel News reports that Joe Barton (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Reps. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), have all agreed in principle to back national franchising rules.

Cable companies and minority civil rights groups are fighting the national video franchise proposal. It would allow cable and telephone companies to essentially set their own rates and services without local or national regulation.

The proposed legislation would allow companies like AT&T and Verizon to expand their TV services nationwide, without restriction, until they receive 15% local television penetration.”

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About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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