Legislation would establish national franchise

A nationwide franchise provision that would allow regional Bell operating companies, like Verizon and AT&T, to offer pay video without obtaining local franchise agreements is part of a bill House Republicans and Democrats agreed to in principle last week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee could take action this week on the legislation, according to the National Journal.

A national franchise would make it easier for these companies to enter local markets with IPTV services because it would relieve them from securing rights from each local municipal government where they plan to offer service.

The National Journal reported the proposed bill does not require the companies to build out their service to every part of geographical regions they plan to serve.

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