Thursday, October 13, 2005

The next big thing.

American Marketing Association News: "THE 32,000 residents of Keller, Tex., a Dallas suburb, last month became the guinea pigs for a new kind of television service. It's not broadcast TV, not cable TV, not satellite TV. It's 'FiOS TV,' high-quality digital television delivered by fiber optic service lines owned by a telephone company.
FiOS TV is the latest front in the ongoing telecom war, now in its 10th year, pitting the 'Baby Bells' -- the spawn of the 1984 break-up of AT&T -- against all comers. At first the battles were over residential and long-distance service. Then the war moved to broadband Internet service. Now the battle comes to your living room, with the Bells going after the cable companies' bread and butter.
Three of the Bells -- SBC, Verizon and Bell South -- are spending billions of dollars laying fiber optic cables that will carry television pictures to computers or to TV sets equipped with computer boxes. They're also planning to spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying state legislatures and Congress to allow them to avoid lengthy permit processes.
Earlier this year, Texas became the first state to approve a statewide franchise agreement for FiOS TV. That means the Bells can avoid having to make franchise agreements with individual communities before laying their fiber optic cables. Conventional cable TV companies have to get franchise agreements, and in return, pay a franchise tax to local governments. In Texas, the Bells will be able to avoid the lengthy town-by-town permitting process. "

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