Legal Newsline

Monday, October 21, 2019

Internet TV should be regulated like cable, Blumenthal says

By John O'Brien | Aug 6, 2007

Blumenthal

HARTFORD, Conn. - Statewide competition in cable television is what Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says is what he would like to see after requesting AT&T be required to obtain a cable license for its Internet television service.

Blumenthal filed an emergency petition Monday with the Department of Public Utility Control, citing a recent federal court ruling that says AT&T's Internet Protocol Television service is cable television.

That federal ruling, Blumenthal says, nixes changes to state law that weakened the regulation of cable TV. IPTV is a system where digital television service is delivered by Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure.

"We are seeking to enforce a new era of cable competition," Blumenthal said. "The first steps are an emergency order that would stop AT&T from constructing new facilities and signing up new customers until it has a franchise."

Blumenthal claims the industry has received a turning point that could lead to lower cable prices and better service if the DPUC grants his petition. Since AT&T serves most of the state, it should have to provide its IPTV to all households, he added. The company offers the service in a few communities.

"AT&T can no longer cherry-pick the wealthiest and most accessible customers while denying most consumers the benefits of competition," he said.

"The federal court ruling -- that IPTV is cable and must be licensed and regulated as cable -- should mean real competition. I have asked the DPUC to immediately order that AT&T must have a license for its IPTV service, assuring a competitive market for cable. I urge AT&T to embrace this decision and seek a statewide franchise, a win-win for the company and consumers. The company can expand into the entire state, and consumers will see the benefits of competition," Blumenthal said.

"This ruling nullifies a recent misguided state statute that eviscerates consumer protections for cable customers. Cable and IPTV operators remain subject to common sense consumer protection and public service requirements."

Want to get notified whenever we write about ?

Sign-up Next time we write about , we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

More News