Video franchising wins, Net neutrality loses

The federal video franchising bill received a thumbs-up yesterday when the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the measure by a 42-13 vote. The proposal would allow telcos to offer IPTV services by bypassing local authorities, unlike the cablecos. This is one step closer to realizing faster deployment of IPTV services, however, the measure may go to the House floor for a vote. Some Judiciary Committee members would like to review it, too. The Senate hasn't acted on the issue yet, but it plans to this summer.

On the other hand, the Net neutrality bill was defeated 34-22 and is expected to be a source of conflict in the Senate. Rivals Google, Yahoo, eBay, Microsoft and Amazon.com have forged a united front to oppose the two-tiered Internet bill, which they say will give some Web sites an unfair advantage over others and alter the Web's landscape. It will be interesting to see how the video-franchising bill and the Net neutrality bill affect the uptake of IPTV and Internet TV in the upcoming years.

To learn more about the video franchising and net-neutrality issues:
- read this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
- check out this San Francisco Chronicle article

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