Monday, May 07, 2007

Broadband franchise legislation or not, AT&T not expected to deploy broadband to Tennessee small towns

AT&T is threatening Tennessee lawmakers that it will not invest in deployment of broadband in smaller towns if the state legislature doesn't pass a state video franchise bill backed by the telco.

A lobbyist for local governments opposing the measure however says even if it were enacted, AT&T would continue to concentrate on large metro areas of the state and leave smaller towns on the dark side of the digital divide.

Which is likely true because similar statewide franchise bills such as California's Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (AB 2987) -- which was also sought by AT&T -- requires big providers to deploy broadband to just half of their service areas by 2012, leaving non-urban areas out in the cold.

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