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FCC Chair Hints At Video Telco Rulings

December 8, 2006

Sentiments expressed by FCC Chair Kevin Martin at a conference on Wednesday could indicate that that he might be inclined to ask the FCC to regulate the ability of local franchise authoritiesi n their say-so over video-related telco service providers.

Martin's comments seemed to signal irritation over delays caused by local regulators in awarding telco video franchises- and the negative effect that such delays could impose on telco providers wishing to compete with cable in their communities.

Martin told the Phoenix Center US Telecoms 2006 Sympsium that granting 90-day time limits on video telco franchising decisions, implementing caps on franchise fees, a limit on build-out requirements and a careful look at preventing exclusive programming contracts are matters that the FCC is strongly considering.

Most of these issues were contained in national video franchise reform legislation that did not pass in the now-outgoing Congress.

Not to the pleasure of Martin, apparently.

"To ensure that delays in action do not negatively impact the development of video competition in any area," Martin said, "the Commission should set time frames for local franchising authority to act on a new entrant’s franchise application."


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