Yesterday, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates added his support to AT&T’s position on video franchising — which is that video franchising should be handled at the federal level, not locally.
“In particular, the nature and architecture of IPTV argues strongly for a regulatory model that greatly reduces – or eliminates entirely – local barriers to entry,” Gates said, in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission.
AT&T’s position, promulgated by CEO Ed Whitacre, is that IP networks are different than cable systems, and as such shouldn’t be subject to local franchising approvals.
Not surprisingly, cable operators strongly disagree. CEOs from major telecomm companies, including Cablevision Systems Corp. CEO Tom Rutledge, testify to the Senate Commerce Committee on the franchising brou-haha today.