Verizon asks FCC to ease consumers’ switch from cable TV services
Verizon’s FCC petition follows months of increased competition from Verizon’s FiOS TV service and AT&T’s  U-verse TV service in the video space, and it coincides with the news that Comcast  and Time Warner Cable  are discussing a joint wireless venture with Sprint  and Clearwire .
"The process to switch video providers is more cumbersome for consumers," Verizon wrote in a petition, filed with the FCC today, to request a declaratory ruling. "Cable incumbents do not accept disconnect orders from the new provider; instead, they require the customer to contact them directly to cancel service after choosing a new video provider and to return equipment. This significantly complicates the process of switching video providers, thereby entrenching the cable incumbents' dominant market position."
Verizon continued: "Because such a ruling will establish parity in the processes for cancelling telephone and video services, it will facilitate the ability of consumers to switch video providers, enhancing competition both in video services and in the triple-play of bundled services . . . It is well within the Commission's authority to make this declaratory ruling that will foster robust competition between cable incumbents and other video providers."
In a separate filing with the FCC earlier this week, Verizon said that the cable industry delays its subscribers' switches to competing voice providers by regularly failing to meet the Commission's timing requirements for local number portability.
Additionally, New York State consumers in Roslyn Harbor on Long Island and in the Town of Wappinger in Dutchess County will soon have access to Verizon’s FiOS TV service, thanks to a newly approved agreement authorizing the telco to offer its video service in the communities.
The vote brings to 102 the total number of New York communities that have approved video franchises for Verizon.
More Broadband Direct:Broadband Briefs for 3/26/08