Tennessee Gov. signs statewide cable franchise bill

Fri, 05/23/2008 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

After two years of lobbying by cable entities, local governments and AT&T, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a law on Monday that creates statewide cable franchises in the state.

Historically, cable operators had to negotiate cable franchise agreements with each city or town that they wished to provide video services to. Over the past few years, AT&T and Verizon have lobbied for statewide franchising laws because they allow them to rollout their respective U-verse and FiOS video services faster than if they had to strike deals with each city.

The cable industry has contended that statewide franchising laws give telcos a different set of rules than what cable operators operated under, and that telcos may choose to just offer their services in the more affluent parts of cities and towns.

Local governments have also opposed the statewide franchising laws because they no longer have control over the terms of the service and lose fees collected from permits.

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