Conn. IPTV-Franchise Ruling Under Fire

In an unprecedented partnership, the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the state's Office of Consumer Counsel will file with the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control Tuesday to stay a commissioner's finding that Internet-protocol television is not subject to cable franchising.

The commissioners issued that finding June 7, to the dismay of incumbent cable providers and those state officials. Blumenthal has stated his support for regulation that will compel IPTV providers to offer products throughout the state.

AT&T Inc. will benefit from the ruling. Officials stated publicly that they will announce plans by the end of this month for the deployment of Internet-delivered video services.

The stay request will note that the U.S. Congress may approve major telecommunications reform by the end of 2007 and, therefore, there is no need for the state regulators to act on the issue now.