Connecticut IPTV vs. cable battle not over

June 9, 2006

Connecticut cable providers pondered their next move Friday after a decision by regulators opened the door to telco-supplied Internet Protocol Television.

The state Department of Public Utility Control decided Wednesday that Internet Protocol Television is just another data stream and therefore AT&T was not bound by same franchise regulations that apply to cable operators.

The ruling contends that cable video and IPTV were different technologies and therefore not subject to the same rules.

Telecom observers saw the ruling as a major step toward direct competition between heavyweight telcos and cable operators similar to the rivalry over broadband Internet access.

The New England Cable and Telecommunications Association immediately announced it would take the dispute to state or federal court as early as next week. The Hartford Courant said Friday that state officials planned to seek a reconsideration of the ruling.

AT&T said it hoped to offer its Lightspeed television service later this year and expand it to half of Connecticut within here years.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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