Uh, oh, lawyers getting involved in Texas' public access feud

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) wants to digitize public, educational and government access channels, including the McAllen Cable Network, in Texas starting Oct. 1. Texas communities, led by McAllen, think that's a bad idea and are planning to bring in a "high-powered" D.C. attorney to support fight the move.

TWC, which has its own lineup of well paid attorneys, wants to digitize the state's public channels as part of an analog-to-digital move way to free up bandwidth for more HD channels and other broadband services. It's a common practice within the cable industry these days, and, despite a general aura of superiority, Texas would be handled no differently than other states where consumers have needed to use digital-to-analog set-tops to bring in signals that once moved seamlessly to analog TVs.

McAllen and other communities think that's the wrong way to go and have been talking with Nick Miller, of Miller & Van Eaton about how to stop it. Miller's track record includes a successful fight against Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) when it tried something similar in Michigan. While Miller declined to get into specifics, he did encourage the belief that things could heat up. "Stay interested," he advised. "This is an important topic and it's not over yet."

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