Federal Judge: AT&T U-Verse = Cable TV

[ Just as the Alliance for Community Media’s national conference was getting underway two weeks ago, a US Federal judge issued what appears to be a game-changing decision, overturning a Connecticut DPUC ruling that AT&T’s IPTV-based “U-Verse” service was not a “cable service” subject to the state’s cable franchising laws.

This decision generated a great deal of trade and general press. Here are clips/links to ten stories on the topic – six on the initial decision, and four more on the CT AG’s decision yesterday seeking to enjoin AT&T from signing up additional customers. – rm ]

Court rules U.S. cable laws apply to AT&T’s U-verse
by Yinka Adegoke and Ritsuko Ando

NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal court has overturned a decision by Connecticut authorities that would have allowed AT&T Inc. (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to expand its new U-verse Internet video service in the state more quickly. Telecom companies have complained of the lengthy process involved in gaining local video franchise approvals, which they say slows their expansion of new video and Internet services, to the benefit of incumbent cable television operators.

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.

Several lawsuits had been filed against the decision, including suits by the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association and Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which has cable systems in the area competing with AT&T for customers. Telecom companies see television services as crucial to future growth amid increasing competition from cable operators and a decline in traditional phone service subscriptions. —>

Connecticut Attorney General Applauds Court Ruling that IPTV Is Subject to DPUC Regulation
Laments New Law that Strips Away that Authority


AT&T Is Cable Operator, Says Connecticut Court
Broadcasting & Cable


Federal judge: AT&T U-Verse == cable TV
by Eric Bangeman
ars technica

A federal judge has thrown up a roadblock in front of AT&T as it attempts to roll out its new U-Verse IPTV service in the state of Connecticut. In an opinion issued yesterday, Judge Janet Bond Arterton ruled that AT&T’s U-Verse IPTV service is a cable television service like any other and is therefore subject to local franchising agreements. —>

Judge: U-Verse Is A Cable Service
He so isn’t getting an AT&T Christmas card….
by Karl
Broadband reports [includes readers’ comments]


New Law Could Nullify AT&T Ruling
by Mark Peters
Hartford Courant



Blumenthal, consumer counsel demands AT&T get cable franchise
Boston Globe

HARTFORD, Conn. — Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the Office of Consumer Counsel on Monday asked state utility regulators to order AT&T to get a statewide cable television license before signing up new customers. —>

Internet TV should be regulated like cable, Blumenthal says
by John O’Brien
Legal Newsline


Blumenthal: AT&T Must Stop TV Sign Up
by Mark Peters
Hartford Courant


Blumenthal seeks regulation of Internet TV
by Ken Dixon
Connecticut Post


compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, IPTV, U-Verse, video franchising

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