From The Philter regulator file, the FCC's cable competition report offers this handy summary of the RBOCs' gripes against local video franchises:
LECs described the local franchising process as an impediment to entry into the market. SBC maintains that cable franchise requirements are unnecessary given existing local authority to manage telephone company rights of way. Verizon and others note that franchise negotiation gives notice of entry to the incumbent, delays entry, and allows LFAs to demand unrelated concessions from the entrant. Verizon alleges that a “level playing field” approach to regulation is harmful to competition, and urges congressional action and Commission action pursuant to Section 621(a) of the Communications Act to alleviate these concerns.
In summary, Verizon likes surprising competitors. Doesn't like level playing fields. Likes lobbying... Doesn't like local politics. And SBC thinks the whole thing is unnecessary.
For more on the topic, see:
- Telcos Flog Video Franchising
- Verizon Steps Up Franchise Fight
- FCC Brings Video Debate to Texas
- SBC Makes $800M Texas Pledge
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading