Thursday, December 21, 2006

Maybe AT&T will get their way: A few days ago, I posted about AT&T’s decision to try and move in on the markets in suburban Chicago. It hasn’t been going very well. But there’s something to the idea that there’s no competition in the cable market. The Times reports today that the FCC is insisting that municipalities give phone companies like AT&T a swift hearing at a minimum:

Arguing that cable television rates have surged in the absence of robust competition, federal regulators moved to speed up the local approval process for phone companies seeking to compete.

The action came in a 3-to-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission. The ruling does not force municipalities to grant phone companies a video franchise, but it does require a decision within 90 days.

Phone carriers, notably Verizon, have asserted that some municipalities are slow to grant approvals, often in the face of cable industry lobbying.

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