Instead of fighting laws that make it hard for them offer video services, SBC is now letting the fight come to them. Existing regulations would require them (like cable services) to get franchise-like approval from each municipality where they want to deploy these services. Justifiably, telcos have tried to change the law. Having to negotiate with thousands of local governments and deal with their different laws would severely and somewhat unfairly limit their ability to compete, so they began a fierce lobbying effort to change those requirements. But with lobbying going nowhere and almost no progress on the issue from Congress or the FCC, it appears SBC is getting impatient. Broadband Reports points to a story in which an SBC exec says the telco is moving ahead with plans to offer services without seeking local government approval first. He goes further, practically daring cable companies and others to sue SBC if they don't like it. We look forward to a future story on the inevitable litigation. But first, cable companies might want to wait and see if SBC can even get Microsoft's IPTV software working.
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