Wednesday, March 29, 2006

House Bill Would Facilitate Internet Video Services from Verizon, AT&T (Digital Media Wire)

Washington - A bill introduced by U.S. House Republicans would make it easier for telecom providers like Verizon and AT&T to provide Internet-based digital TV services, Reuters reported. The bill would let these companies obtain a national license, while allowing local governments to collect up to 5% of gross revenue; recently, Verizon has been negotiating agreements with individual cities and counties to launch its FiOS TV service. "With new competitors preparing to enter the ongoing race between cable and satellite, the law needs to change," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). Along with Barton, sponsors of the bill included Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.). The bill is scheduled for a Committee hearing on Thursday, although some consumer advocates oppose the legislation. "The provisions will not stop the cable and telephone companies from degrading Internet traffic, and they do not contain strong enough penalties to discourage misbehavior," Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn told Reuters. (Reuters)


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