Connecticut franchise battle continues

The attorney general in Connecticut is not backing down in his quest to make sure AT&T's U-verse is subject to the same requirements as cable TV operations. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's latest volley is a public request that AT&T's franchise application be rejected, which seems counterintuitive on its face. Blumenthal fought to make AT&T obtain a franchise license from the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control in August. The PUC was all about letting AT&T slide, but a federal judge suggested otherwise.

The PUC later denied Blumenthal's petition to make AT&T get a franchise license, but it appears that the resurrected Bell did so anyway, because Blumenthal issued statement urging its denial.

"This new application by AT&T seems to accept that they must seek a franchise, but makes a sham of meeting the franchise requirements," he said. Blumenthal wants AT&T to have build-out requirements typical of cable franchise agreements.

"I will continue to vigorously fight to assure that all Connecticut consumers enjoy the full benefits of competition and choice," he said. "All citizens should have access--not just residents of wealthy or readily served areas. AT&T cannot be allowed to cherry pick customers and deny others the same right."

Opposing Blumenthal are an army of lawyers, lobbyists and accountants who have carefully calculated the areal penetration return-on-investment for U-verse and determined that hired guns are cheaper than building out across the tracks. It's really that simple.

For More:
- Blumenthal's statement is posted here

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