Minnesota jumps into Mediacom dispute

A local dispute between Mediacom and the City of Prior Lake has drawn statewide attention in Minnesota where Sen. Scott Dibble wants to clarify cable franchise law to better define rules for telephone companies getting into the cable TV business.

Mediacom sued Prior Lake claiming the city council violated state law by approving a cable TV franchise--and therefore opened the road to compete--for Integra Telecom. Mediacom's argument was that Integra can cherrypick the best subscribers because it's only required to cover 60 percent of the city. The suit's not sitting at the cleaners; it's in the state Court of Appeals where oral arguments begin in March.

Meanwhile, Dibble is already arguing that competition is good and asking that the state law be clarified to determine if a full build-out is actually required to get franchise approval.

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