GlobalComm: Cox calls for level playing field

During a keynote speech at the GlobalComm conference in Chicago this week, Cox Communications president Patrick Esser said he isn't afraid of competition from the telcos' IPTV deployments, but he is troubled by the telcos' lobbying efforts to change franchise laws. "What troubles me most about the competitive landscape today isn't the Bells' fiber-to-the-home promises or their deep discounting of DSL service," Esser said. "We'll contend with this as we always have... What troubles me most are the competitive battles over the rules of the game being waged in Washington, D.C., and state capitols."

Verizon, AT&T and other phone companies have been lobbying Congress for the past year to change franchising laws that would allow them to obtain nationwide or statewide video franchise agreements because the traditional negotiations with each and every municipality take too long. The House and Senate are currently debating separate legislation to change the rules.

For more on franchise rules and Esser's keynote:
- see this article from CNET

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