FCC Adopts New Video Franchise Rules
The ability for phone companies to offer video services has become easier thanks to a 2007 Federal Communications Commission vote that decided the previous process for franchising prevented cable competition and broadband installment.
Described as a blockade to franchising, the process has since changed as new rules require local governments to approve franchise agreements within six months for new entrants, and within 90 days for companies with existing access to city facilities. Additionally, the new rules allow for new market entrants to decline “building out,” in which case they would be required to serve all of a particular area within in a short time frame.
Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission order affects the local level only. It does not have sufficient information to make such decisions with respect to franchising decisions made at a state level. As a result, the order addresses only decisions made by county or municipal level franchising authorities.
With regard to existing franchisees, the order will affect them at their next renewal process, but just how has not yet been released by the Commission.
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