California Approves Statewide Franchises

Filed in archive Internet TV on March 6, 2007

If AT&T fixes whatever problems it is having with its U-verse IPTV service in California, it just got a little easier for them to roll it out everywhere. That is because the California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan Thursday to create statewide video franchises for companies are trying to implement cable-like services.

Under the plan, companies file an application with the PUC and the state has 44 days to grant a single franchise to operate in the state. This is vastly more simple than it was in the days when cable companies duked it out for citywide franchises.

Alas, not all is celebratory news for AT&T and Verizon because they will still have to negotiate with individual cities for specific infrastructure improvements, like the physical boxes AT&T plans to install to implement its new TV service.

In December, AT&T began rolling out U-verse in four Bay Area cities after obtaining individual franchise agreements. One of those cities is mine and I was eager to enroll. But scalability must be an issue because they are not really signing me up yet; nor have they launched any marketing effort.

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