Livermore, CA, Mayor Marshall Kamena terms AT&T's installation of Project Lightspeed cabinets and equipment in the city as "a rather deceiving incident" with AT&T being issued a permit under "false pretense." In early December last year, SBC applied for a number of encroachment permits with no mention of Project Lightspeed. The city thought it to be routine system upgrade work on its regular phone service--until recently. Now that the city has found AT&T installing Project Lightspeed cabinets and making other upgrades to its equipment, the operator's permit has been revoked and all work has been stopped. AT&T says it's spending between $4.2 billion and $4.8 billion to upgrade and ready its IPTV networks. It also holds that as a regulated telephone company, it doesn't need to apply for a cable franchise. It's safe to say this is only the beginning of the regulatory battles between the telcos and cable operators over this nascent technology.
In a similar incident in Walnut Creek, SBC began upgrading above-ground copper wires as part of a service upgrade. However, the city required a franchise agreement as the lines would complement Project Lightspeed. AT&T (then SBC) sued Walnut Creek over the disagreement last year. Despite the resistance from Livermore and Walnut Creek, neighboring San Ramon has authorized a draft resolution in support of Project Lightspeed. AT&T plans to ultimately market the service as AT&T U-Verse.
For more on this story:
- read this article from San Jose Mercury News