Friday, November 09, 2007

Tennessee broadband build out bloodbath predicted for 2008 legislative session

Tennessee state Senator Tim Burchett of Knoxville is predicting there will be a “bloodbath” in the 2008 legislative session as lawmakers once again entertain AT&T's request to preempt local governments and put the state in charge of broadband franchises that include delivery of high bandwidth IPTV video service.

Local governments won out this year when they convinced lawmakers Ma Bell was trying to avoid local government demands that AT&T build out its infrastructure to serve all of their residents and businesses. AT&T doesn't want to make that investment and hopes legislation making the state government the sole regulator will allow it to avoid negotiating with local governments.

“We believe that [the AT&T legislation] weakens consumer protections because there are no build-out requirements,” Carole Graves, communications director for the Tennessee Municipal League, told the Knoxville News Sentinel in this article via Free Press.

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