Verizon sues Md. over IPTV

Verizon has been negotiating with the affluent Washington, DC suburb Montgomery County, MD for a pay TV franchise for more than a year now, but after reaching a standstill has decided to sue the county. The operator asks that the court declare the county's cable franchise processes and requirements in violation of federal communications and antitrust laws. "Verizon regrets have to take this step, but the county's unlawful demands leave us no other choice," Verizon VP and associate general counsel John Frantz said. While fees are a usual point of contention, the Montgomery County case is different because it demands that Verizon set aside 65 channels of digital capacity for public, educational and governmental programming, according to Verizon's suit. The county currently has programming for 11 such channels. Interestingly, the county's response was: Well, you haven't even filed a cable franchise application yet!

For more on Verizon's suit in Maryland:
- see this article from Internet News