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AT&T unable to secure statewide franchise for U-Verse in Connecticut

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 15 Oct 2007 23:02 User comments (6)

AT&T unable to secure statewide franchise for U-Verse in Connecticut AT&T's quest to provide an alternative to cable television in Connecticut has hit a snag after that state's Department of Public Utillity Control (DPUC) rejected an application to provide IPTV services across the entire state.
AT&T has come under fire from some municipalities in recent months because they claim their U-Verse IPTV service isn't covered by the same regulations that govern cable television services. After a ruling in a Federal court earlier this year, which indicated that they are in fact considered a cable television provider under federal law, AT&T decided to apply for a statewide monopoly. This would have allowed them to operate within any part of the state, regardless of how local officials felt about it. With this ruling, they'll be required to get a contract with each municipality before offering service.

"In making this ruling, the DPUC ignored both the spirit and the letter of a brand-new consumer-friendly law and is protecting the cable monopoly," Ramona Carlow, an AT&T official overseeing regulatory affairs, said in a statement.

"Consumers should be outraged that just as more than 150,000 local households in more than 40 Connecticut cities and towns gained the ability to choose a video provider other than their local cable monopoly, the DPUC and attorney general have acted to protect cable monopolies by eliminating competition," Carlow said, referring to the 40 cities where U-verse is already available.

As a result of the ruling, AT&T also announced they'll be eliminating more than 300 jobs in Connecticut, and disconnecting over 7,000 current U-Verse subscribers.

Source: Reuters

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6 user comments

116.10.2007 1:36

In face this may be perceived to hurt customers choice, but it is quite the contrary.

If given a blanket over the whole state, they would be able to pick and choose wherever they wanted to provide service, I.E. Cities and neighborhoods where they would stand to profit the most, leaving the rest of the consumers hanging out to dry. The only real people not getting a choice now are the Rich, Affluent neighborhoods.

The truth is in the numbers, 40 cities only 7000 subscribers? Lots of mad rich people.

216.10.2007 15:03

hmm i live in good ole CT. i dont even know what IPTV is, so i dont really get it, but all i know is i want something other than cablevision in my area because it sucks. alot.

316.10.2007 18:22

Hmmm, competition is always good, but I wonder what the other side to this story is. In other words, I'm sure there was a reason to not let AT&T in.

417.10.2007 9:53

from what i've read, cable companies that sign city agreements have to build their services in the entire city, and since at&t claims they are not a cable provider they can build them in the neighborhoods they choose which are supposedly upper income. How does the consumer win? it would suck to not be able to have a choice and watch the other neighborhoods get it. If you want to bring competition, bring it to everyone...not just the rich.

521.10.2007 20:14
olenav
Inactive

At the same time that the cable companies were signing city agreements and making all sorts of agreements to be regulated by the cities, they were dealing at the federal level to get a law passed that effectively PREVENTS the city from regulating them. They jacked up the prices so high in my area, that I finally got disgusted and went to Dish Satellite.

623.10.2007 7:46

Maybe they could not manage this due to the iphone fiasco that has happened recently. :P

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