Regulations usually involving cable franchise rights have slowed down the rollout of IPTV services by telcos in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, however, one seems to be coming up again and again: concerns over "cherrypicking." AT&T and Qwest have both found it particularly onerous in some areas to gain a foothold in a new market because lawmakers said they were concerned the new TV operators would only offer the IPTV service to the more affluent neighborhoods. The AT&T-backed statewide franchise bill in Tennessee reportedly lost steam over cherrypicking concerns, and Qwest is having similar issues in parts of Colorado.
Congress' failed attempt to pass a nationwide video franchise bill last year has spurred 11 states to pass their own statewide ones so far, among them: Texas, Indiana, Virginia, Kansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Michigan, Missouri and just recently, Florida. Indeed, these same states are getting the most attention for the new TV operators. Georgia and Iowa may be next.
For more on the class issue facing IPTV:
- see this PC World report