CT Dept Public Utility Control Denies AT&T’s IPTV

In a surprising anti-consumer action the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control has denied the application of AT&T to continue with it’s roll out of IPTV fiber optical services in Connecticut. This can affect some 7000 customers already enrolled in the program which represents a major advance in television technology and utilization. Also hundreds of jobs for technicians trained in the new application may be in jeopardy. The new application named AT&T U-verse was the subject of the following news release from the company (10/01/07):

Beginning today, Connecticut consumers will benefit from a new law that enables more choices for video entertainment. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today submitted an application to the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control to become a Certified Competitive Video Provider. Further demonstrating its commitment to bringing the benefits of video choice to more consumers in the state, the company also announced that AT&T U-verseSM TV and Internet services are now available to more than 135,000 homes in Connecticut in parts of 40 cities and towns.

However, now various sources including TVovernet and FreedomWorks, have announced the CT DPUC denial of the franchise:

In a surprising anti-consumer decision, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility rejected AT&T’s application to expand its U-verse IPTV service further across Connecticut. This is surprising because AT&T was granted a statewide video franchise, but the CDPU shockingly classified IPTV as a cable offering. By forcing IPTV to conform to 1970’s era regulatory standards designed for cable monopolies, the CDPU and state attorney general have sided against competition and the free market.

Connecticut is the only state to consider IPTV a cable system, and therefore it is not covered under video franchise law. Unfortunately for Connecticut’s consumers, this decision will prompt AT&T to stop investing in Connecticut’s telecom sector, terminating 1300 jobs and ending service to over 7000 consumers rather than attempt to comply with recalcitrant bureaucratic regulators.

Complaints to the CT DPUC may be addressed here.

An interesting video about this emerging technology from Tellabs is here.

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