Thursday, September 28, 2006

California Approves Video Franchise Bill

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a statewide video franchise bill that will make it easier for new IPTV competitors to enter the market.

"The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006," which goes into effect 01-Jan-2007, replaces a decades-old, city-by-city video franchising model with a streamlined, state-issued authorization.

AT&T cheered the news. "AT&T has begun a $1 billion initial investment in California to upgrade our digital broadband network, which will deliver faster Internet access speeds and new, competitive TV/video services. This investment is in addition to the nearly $20 billion we've invested in our California network over the past decade," stated Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California.

Verizon also hailed the news. "Gov. Schwarzenegger's signing of the Digital Infrastructure and Cable Competition Act is a huge victory for California's consumers. Under this law, California sets a new standard for accelerating cable-TV competition, and customers can expect new choices, greater value and improved service in terms of video providers. This landmark legislation unlocks the vast potential of Verizon's all-fiber network and enables us to more rapidly offer a new alternative to cable -- FiOS TV -- in dozens of communities where we have already built our 100-percent fiber-optic network. The new law also provides the certainty for Verizon to commit hundreds of millions of dollars in additional investment to accelerate fiber deployment in California, creating hundreds of new jobs and stimulating our state's economy," stated Verizon West Region President Tim McCallion.

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