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House May Repeal FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

Happy Friday, cable gang. Leading off today's roundup, the House of Representatives could vote this afternoon to repeal the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's net neutrality rules.

  • The House of Representatives could vote on a resolution to repeal the FCC's rules on net neutrality as early as this afternoon. (See Court Tosses Out Net Neutrality Challenge .)

  • Competitive cable overbuilder WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) is undertaking a "multi-year" transition to an IP-based video platform, according to this filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which the American Cable Association (ACA) pressed the agency to move cautiously with its AllVid proceeding. WOW hasn’t detailed its IPTV plan, but it has completed Docsis 3.0 network upgrades in all its markets. (See All About the FCC's AllVid and WOW Rips Page From Comcast's Digital Playbook.)

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s US$320 million deal for Blockbuster Inc. took a step forward Thursday after a U.S. bankruptcy judge approved the deal. Dish anticipates obtaining regulatory approval by April 22. (See Dish's Baffling Blockbuster and Dish's Latest Buy Is a Blockbuster .)

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) could soon bypass cities and seek statewide video franchises in Texas, after the Texas State Senate passed a bill 28-3 on Wednesday. (See Telcos Close In on TX Video Win.)

  • The new "WatchESPN" app for Apple devices comes with a few annoying catches, including blackouts dependent on regional and local rights deals, no Monday Night Football on the iPhone (but okay on PCs and tablets), and some temporary "blurring" of some Major League Baseball if ESPN's digital rights don't match up for the rights it has for "traditional television usage." Other than that, stream away -- so long as you're a Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Bright House Networks or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV subscriber. (See ESPN Pipes Live TV to Apple Devices .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) subscribers will be able to access HD video on mobile devices and its Fancast Xfinity TV portal, after the MSO's thePlatform Inc. unit struck a deal with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to integrate the software giant's PlayReady and Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming product into its video management system. (See thePlatform Gets Flashier.)

  • Telecom providers will see the pole-attachment fees they pay utility companies drop to about $7 per foot per year (some providers had paid as much as $20 per foot), under an order from the FCC. Wireless companies will also get more access to the tops of poles, under the order.

  • Interesting read from BTIG Research Analyst Rich Greenfield about the how the Web could allow TV talent ranging from John Stewart to Charlie Sheen to drop their shows and networks to entertain fans through Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Facebook , Hulu LLC , Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Xbox Live and other new platforms.

  • Kabel Deutschland GmbH is ramping up its Docsis 3.0 rollout plan, announcing that it will provide 100Mbit/s links (downstream) to 10 million German homes by the end of March 2012. When it hits the mark, about 75 percent of its footprint will be D3-ready.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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