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AT&T U-verse HDTV - Page 3

post #61 of 4208
Thread Starter 
you're welcome
post #62 of 4208
Thread Starter 
March 02, 2006

AT&T, Verizon and other telcos have been warning that they're going to demand money from Google and other sites if those sites want adequate bandwidth. But now a senator is proposing to ban the practice, and is standing up to the telcos, who are acting more like a cybermafia than legitimate businesses.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon today introduced legslation that would ban network operators from charging sites for extra bandwidth. The law would also ban the practice of favoring some content providers over others. That, according to the New York Times.

Other Congressman are kowtowing to the telcos because the telcos are big campaign contributors. They'd let the telcos do what they want, and turn the Internet into their own private network.

The Wyden bill, called the Internet Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, faces tough sledding. Money talks, and the telcos are doing a lot of talking.

In addition, the FCC has made it clear it won't take any action on the matter, so we can't look to them for help.

So if you care about the future of the Internet, let your Congressmen know about it -- tell them to support Wyden's bill.

http://www.networkingpipeline.com/bl...or_to_att.html
post #63 of 4208
Thread Starter 
Controversial Calif. Deal for AT&T
By Linda Haugsted 3/2/2006 12:52:00 PM

Bucking the trend set by other cities, the city council in San Ramon, Calif., approved a deal with AT&T Inc. that will allow the telephone company to place hardware in the rights of way that will deliver video signals.

The deal, approved 4-0 Feb. 28, was opposed by incumbent Comcast Corp. and the California Cable & Telecommunications Association. They both argued that AT&T's planned service meets the federal definition of a cable-television product and must be franchised.

Other California cities, including Walnut Creek and Livermore, agreed with incumbents regarding the service definition and have tried to compel AT&T to enter an equipment-siting agreement that will later bind the telephone company to cable-franchise agreements. AT&T has responded by suing those cities.

San Ramon officials, however, agreed with AT&T that Internet-protocol video is not a cable service and approved an agreement to allow the company to install 41 large, above-ground vaults needed to deliver, and cool, its cable plant.

Although AT&T stressed that it doesn't need a franchise, it offered to pay the 51,027-population city a 5% franchise fee to support Tri-Valley Community Television, the local public-access corporation, and to pay 50 cents per month, per subscriber to fund local programming, according to the city staff report.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News
post #64 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

Controversial Calif. Deal for AT&T
By Linda Haugsted 3/2/2006 12:52:00 PM

Although AT&T stressed that it doesn't need a franchise, it offered to pay the 51,027-population city a 5% franchise fee to support Tri-Valley Community Television, the local public-access corporation, and to pay 50 cents per month, per subscriber to fund local programming, according to the city staff report.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News

This stinks of bribery to get one city to use in the suits in other cities.

We don't need a franchise but are willing to pay a franchise fee?
post #65 of 4208
That 5% franchise fee, is that a typical amount that a company like Comcast would pay as well..? And does that fee come entirely from the subscriber...as opposed to Comcast actually putting out the money?
post #66 of 4208
Yep, franchise fees are typically 5%. Until one of the Comm. Acts ('92 or '96?), the TAX was embedded in the price. Now I believe most providers show it as a line item tax on the bill.
post #67 of 4208
And that is paid entirely by the subscriber..? Do cablecos pay anything upfront to get the franchise, other than possibly bandwidth for city usage, maybe a local govt broadcasting center or equipment, things of that nature..?
post #68 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

And that is paid entirely by the subscriber..? Do cablecos pay anything upfront to get the franchise, other than possibly bandwidth for city usage, maybe a local govt broadcasting center or equipment, things of that nature..?

Pay upfront, I doubt it, all the other possibilities, certainly.
post #69 of 4208
Thread Starter 
excerpt
"A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University calculated that consumers are paying an extra $8.4 billion in costs in the form of higher rates for service, fees, and equipment as a result of video franchise regulations. The study also found $1.7 billion in "deadweight loss" or value that consumers forego because higher prices induce some consumers to go without cable television. That's a lot of money that could be saved and put to better use, making it imperative that Congress act now to fix the system."

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/48919.html
post #70 of 4208
The IRS costs $10.9 billion a year, let's eliminate them too!

That's a lot of money that could be saved and put to better use, making it imperative that Congress act now to fix the system.

Sorry I couldn't resist.
post #71 of 4208
Thread Starter 
Mar 2, 2006
Lodi's council weighs AT&T fee

LODI - The Lodi City Council was scheduled Wednesday to rescind an ordinance it passed in December to require telecommunications giant AT&T to pay a franchise fee in order to deploy a new fiber-optic television service within city limits.

AT&T, formerly SBC Communications, is suing Lodi in San Joaquin County Superior Court over the Dec. 21 ordinance that would allow the phone company to bring fiber-optic Internet and phone service to Lodi, but would require a fee to deliver TV or video service.
Lodi City Attorney Steve Schwabauer recommended the ordinance, expecting the TV service to be regulated in the same manner as cable television companies, which are required to pay franchise fees to cities.

Lodi will collect about $233,000 from Comcast Cable in 2006.

On Wednesday, Schwabauer recommended the resolution be rescinded based on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in January in a possibly related case.

In Sprint v. The City of La Canada Flintridge, the city attempted to deny the construction of wireless communication towers based on their aesthetic appearance.

The appeals court ruled that telephone companies, under a state public utilities code and the federal Telecommunications Act, have the right to extend their reach of services and upgrade their networks wherever they want to as long as it doesn't interfere with the public well-being.

"We need to take some time to think about the case and possibly revisit the ordinance," Schwabauer said.

AT&T's fiber-optic network, which it calls Project Lightspeed, is set to deploy test services in Lodi and other cities in California this year.

Lightspeed spokesman Gordon Diamond said the company is upgrading its service to provide competitive service and is doing so within its rights.

Diamond said AT&T is not opposed to paying cities up to 5 percent of gross revenues or providing public access channels and emergency services, but it needs to upgrade its network in a timely manner first.

"If we had to get a decision from every city and enter into a franchise agreement, it would take seven years," Diamond said.

The California Cable & Telecommunications Association did not return a phone call Wednesday, but its Web site, www.calcable.org, does present an argument for all TV services to be regulated the same. A Comcast spokeswoman declined to comment.

Project Lightspeed will bring broadband Internet, TV and voice services through fiber-optic cables to homes in two ways: fiber-to-the-premises and fiber-to-the-neighborhood.

Direct connections will allow data to move as fast as 39 megabits per second. In comparison, typical cable and DSL broadband services offer speeds up to 6 megabits per second.

Neighborhood connections will bring fiber-optic wires to neighborhoods, where they'll connect to existing copper wires entering residents' homes. Up to 25 megabits of data per second could travel over those connections.

The new TV service would offer special features, including enhanced digital recording, multiple camera angles of sporting events via picture-in-picture views, an enhanced program guide and more, according to a demonstration on an SBC Web site.

Diamond said the company's goal is to reach 18 million customers nationwide by the middle of 2008. AT&T will spend $4 billion to $5 bill-ion to deploy the fiber-optic cables in California and 12 other states.

Contact reporter Keith Reid at (209) 367-7428 or kreid@recordnet.com

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.d...603020357/1003
post #72 of 4208
So let me get this straight. AT & T will collect the 5% franchise fee willingly, but will sue if required to do so? Too many lawyers.
post #73 of 4208
Thread Starter 
Proposed IPTV service under fire

By Scott Marshall
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

A cable trade group representative on Tuesday again criticized a proposed San Ramon agreement with AT&T through which the company would introduce Internet Protocol Television service.

The city is "colluding" with AT&T to offer a service that requires a cable franchise, and cannot allow IPTV without one, asserted Jerry Sinsheimer, vice president for law and public policy for the California Cable and Telecommunications Association.

If the city goes forward with an agreement, then that decision "would be contrary to federal and state law and therefore arbitrary and capricious," Sinsheimer said in a letter to the council.

The city has concluded that IPTV is not a cable service, and therefore not subject to the cable franchise requirement. Similar plans are being resisted in Walnut Creek and Livermore.

Although Walnut Creek and Livermore have stopped similar proposals -- AT&T filed suit against Walnut Creek over the issue -- San Ramon appears likely to authorize it. The council approved a resolution 4-0 that accepts the legal finding by City Attorney Byron Athan that IPTV would be in the best interest of city residents.

Project Lightspeed, which AT&T wants to introduce this year, would bring television to residential customers through DSL phone connections and super-high-speed broadband. Instead of offering one-way video through a cable box, AT&T's service will enable customers to choose programs they want through two-way communication. The company says this would increase competition for television service, thereby benefiting consumers.

AT&T says it does not need a cable franchise to do this because it is a regulated telephone company.

Cable industry officials, meanwhile, say AT&T's plan would create an unfair advantage for phone companies. Cable officials add that such "IPTV"-type service should be regulated under existing law to ensure it wouldn't hurt consumers in poor communities.

Scott Marshall covers the San Ramon area. Reach him at 925-743-2216 or smarshall2@cctimes.com

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/...printstory.jsp
post #74 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoster View Post

So let me get this straight. AT & T will collect the 5% franchise fee willingly, but will sue if required to do so? Too many lawyers.

The problem is not the fee. AT&T is on record (as you point out) stating that they will pay such a fee.

The problem is having to negotiate and secure a franchise agreement before they start. AT&T's position (as I understand it) is that to have to stop and negotiate with every municipality would delay things greatly -- some municipalities can drag such negotiations on for months. And as should be obvious, AT&T is in a big hurry to get this service out there to compete with updated offerings from satellite and cable.

Hopefully they win out...the sooner this is rolled out, the sooner we have more competition.
post #75 of 4208
I'm sure everyone's heard this by now, but in case you haven't, AT&T has announced its intention to acquire Bellsouth. The deal is expected to clear regulatory hurdles and take about a year to close. More here. One assumes that, sooner or later, Project Lightspeed will be extended into Bellsouth territories once the deal closes.
post #76 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoster View Post

So let me get this straight. AT & T will collect the 5% franchise fee willingly, but will sue if required to do so? Too many lawyers.

The issue isn't the fee, but a cable franchise requirement that compels AT&T to build out to every home in the city. Given the cost of the build-out and the fact their looking to build concurrently in all states they serve, it would be unworkable if they had to build out to every home in every locality they received authority to enter.
post #77 of 4208
Sorry, I don't buy their double-speak. If it is an IP based service where a franchise is not required, no franchise fees. They are attempting to do just as Verizon is, pick and choose the cream of the crop neighborhoods.
post #78 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoster View Post

Sorry, I don't buy their double-speak. If it is an IP based service where a franchise is not required, no franchise fees. They are attempting to do just as Verizon is, pick and choose the cream of the crop neighborhoods.


And what is exactly wrong with this? Should a business not be able to select their target markets and customers?
post #79 of 4208
Cable can't. Either they are an IP based data system that does not require a franchise or franchise fees, or they are a video provider that must play by the same rules as everyone else. Their argument changes with the wind.....
post #80 of 4208
Thread Starter 
AT&T Labs execs eye optical networks' future at the Optical Fibers in Communications conference

Loring Wirbel (03/07/2006 3:45 PM EST)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.j...leID=181501692

ANAHEIM, Calif. Just days after their parent companies announced merger plans, senior executives from AT&T Labs and BellSouth Corp. provided a look into the future of optical backbones during keynotes at the Optical Fibers in Communications conference.

The irony of promising expanding traffic potential in a time of consolidation was not lost on OFC co-chairman Patrick Iannone as he opened the conference Tuesday (March 7) by quipping, I'm from AT&Tbut then again, who isn't?

G. Keith Cambron, formerly CEO of SBC Labs, was named senior vice president of AT&T Labs after SBC and AT&T merged in November. Cambron today is examining physical-layer implementations of Internet Protocol transport, particularly as first-generation broadband networks move to full IPTV capabilities. He told the OFC assembly that SBC's Project Lightspeed is being broadened to encompass IP multimedia subsystem architectures that can handle wireless integration, home gaming and AT&T's envisioned IPTV infrastructure, U-Sphere.

The combined SBC/AT&T global network now carries 5.1 petabytes of traffic per business day, most carried on multiprotocol label-switched IP networks with more than 1,500 ports. SBC did not bring in long-haul backbones, Cambron said, but it helped AT&T expand such last-mile access options as DSL. In the U.S. regional networks where SBC had operated, the AT&T Photonic Express backbone has connected states through OC-768 meshed dense wave-division multiplexed optical pipes.

AT&T will expand that network using photonic cross-connects that can unify existing Sonet and Ethernet traffic over IP. With the complex access network in place dominated by time-division multiplexed traffic, Cambron said, the ROADM [reconfigurable optical add-drop mux] becomes an absolutely critical platform. ROADMs can dispense with the need to install jumpers at intermediate transport points and eliminate stranded bandwidth, he said.

In initial IPTV trials in one small region, we would have to do 30,000 individual fiber jobs without using ROADMs, Cambron said. And transition to Ethernet becomes easier with a ROADM infrastructure because we can react quickly.

SBC began Project Lightspeed with ATM-based broadband passive optical networks connecting to VDSL in the neighborhood. This way, copper in the ground did not need to be replaced, but customers could gain bandwidth advantages beyond ADSL. As fiber buildout moves forward, AT&T will move to Ethernet-based gigabit PONs. As copper is removed from neighborhood networks, customers can transition from circuit-switched voice to voice-over-IP, Cambron said.

Henry Kafka, chief architect at BellSouth, used examples from the post-Katrina network rebuilding to make the case for preserving network resiliency. He noted that the storm had destroyed 32 offices in the Gulf region, affecting 1.2 million out of 20 million area customers.

BellSouth relied on pre-WiMax residential wireless service in the disaster area, offering customers DSL-like service over a four- to six-mile range, he said. Fixed wireless broadband access had previously been available only to small businesses but has since been expanded to residential customers, Kafka said. Where fiber networks have survived, they play a key role in backbone restoration. Where local broadband is required, RF is more reliable than free-space optics, Kafka said. Nevertheless, wireless is in no position to replace fiber permanently, because of the large amounts of data we encounter.

If Katrina doesn't drive next-generation network transport deployment, what will? Kafka said. First-generation IPTV will be a largely multicast business using a broadcast and cable model, he said, but eventually customers will want multicast IPTV mixed with unicast and point-to-point Internet video, which drive up bandwidth requirements.

Kafka predicted that the access metric of the future won't be bandwidth in gigabits per second, but capacity in gigabytes shared per month, reflecting the transition of IP video from passive transmission to interactive services.
post #81 of 4208
From MultichannelNews,

Panel Leaders OK National Franchise
By Ted Hearn 3/9/2006 12:45:00 PM

In a setback for cable, key House lawmakers Wednesday night agreed in principle to award a national cable franchise to phone companies and to subject cable operators to continued local franchising requirements until phone rivals have reached 15% local-video-market penetration, industry and Capitol Hill aides said Thursday morning.

The agreement was reached by House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Reps. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the sources said.

AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have been urging Congress to adopt a national-franchise policy, but the agreement includes provisions that have not been publicly debated.

Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is expected to unveil a bill soon that is expected to include cable-franchising relief for the large phone companies.

Under the House agreement, one provision would withhold regulatory relief from cable until the phone company had secured 15% of local video market. Under current law, cable operators are price-deregulated on the basic tier when pay TV competitors are serving more than 15% of local households.

Sources familiar with the agreement stressed that legislative language had not been crafted and that many details had not been worked out. Capitol Hill sources could not elaborate on the 15% test, including whether it meant 15% of local households, 15% of local TV households or 15% of local pay TV households.

A second provision would protect phone companies from predatory pricing tactics by cable incumbents. As explained by sources, if the cable company cut its rates to meet or beat phone-company video prices, the cable company would be required to make the price cuts available to its entire local subscriber base, not just those homes served or capable of being served by the local phone company.

Under current law, regulated cable operators are required to offer a uniform rate structure in a local market. This requirement is eliminated when competitors have met the 15% penetration test.

The House agreement came three days after AT&T announced its $67 billion takeover of BellSouth Corp. -- a massive deal that some predicted would hurt AT&T's and Verizon's chances of obtaining a favorable cable-franchising law from Congress.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association spokesman Brian Dietz declined to comment because the cable trade group had not reviewed legislative language.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News
Panel Leaders OK National Franchise - 3/9/2006 12:45:00 PM - Multichannel News - CA6314469
post #82 of 4208
SBC (AT&T) very recently tried to get me onto their E* program. I told the rep no, but would thoughtfully consider Lightspeed. Of course she had no idea when it would hit my area.
post #83 of 4208
Thread Starter 
CITY OF ANAHEIM APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH AT&T TO PROVIDE ENHANCED SERVICE INCLUDING IPTV

March 10, 2006

ANAHEIM, Calif. - (March 9, 2006) - On Tuesday night at its regularly-scheduled meeting, the Anaheim City Council unanimously approved an agreement with AT&T, opening the door for the telecommunications company to offer television services in Anaheim.

The initiative, known as Project Lightspeed, will bring television service to residents and businesses via AT&T's broadband connections throughout the City. As part of the agreement, AT&T will provide residents with access to enhanced telecommunications offerings, and will include Anaheim Community Television, ACTV-3, as part of the package.

The agreement with AT&T is part of a Citywide initiative, introduced by Mayor Curt Pringle during his 2006 State of the City address. The goal is to allow for greater competition among technology service providers in order to improve quality, service and choice for consumers. It is also consistent with Anaheim's efforts to serve as an innovation hub to take advantage of advancing efforts in technology. In January, the City Council approved an agreement with EarthLink to create a Wi-Fi broadband network, making Anaheim one of the first wireless cities in the nation.

Anaheim officials are also working to establish a virtual City Hall that is open to serve residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Internet.

The agreement with AT&T allows the company to install the necessary equipment in Anaheim to establish the Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) service, provided it meets the City's aesthetic requirements. AT&T is eager to begin offering service to the residents of Anaheim as soon as possible and will begin the necessary network upgrades in the very near future.

http://www.californiachronicle.com/a...articleID=6733
post #84 of 4208
Thread Starter 
AT&T says bill is good for local cable customers
By NICK SLOAN, Kansan Contributing Writer

Although the Kansas Senate approved Sen. Bill 449 unanimously, the battle continues between AT&T and cable television companies in the state.

Also known as the Video Competition Act, the bill effectively makes it easier for companies to become TV service providers, including AT&T and other companies.

Lastmonth, Damon Porter of Time Warner, Inc., told the Kansan that the bill would allow AT&T to cherry pick customers and deny service to those who would not be able to spend larger amounts of money.

This week, Chris Carroll of Southwestern Bell Communications said the charges leveled against AT&T by Time Warner and other cable companies is just spin.

That's a red herring, Carroll said. They just don't want us in the market.

Carroll said he is pleased with the progress of the bill. Approved by the Senate, it now awaits a committee hearing in the House.

We are very optimistic, he said. The Senators see a real need for competition.

The need for competition has been AT&T's argument in favor of the bill.

In a PowerPoint presentation, Carroll illustrated how competition lowers prices on the market.

The cable companies are concerned about their profit margins, Carroll said.

Carroll also maintains that wherever cable companies faced competition, the consumers' cable bills were lower than before the competition arrived.

To further combat the charge of cherry-picking, Carroll said that AT&T's new Project Lightspeed will feature an aggressive schedule to cover more customers.

According to Carroll, over 18 million customers will covered in the new project by 2007, a time period Carroll sites as aggressive. The plan calls for AT&T to cover 50 percent of their customers.

Carroll also pointed out that cities in Texas have seen cable rates lowered due to a similar bill passed in the state.

David Kerr, president of AT&T Kansas, testified before the Kansas Senate Commerce Committee in early February.

In his testimony, he also pointed out that competition could benefit consumers in Kansas.

Cable rates have increased 86 percent since 1995 and 40 percent in the last five years, he said. On the other hand, the Federal Communications Committee has reported that those few consumers with wire-line video competitors have seen their rates decrease by more than 27 percent.

Kerr outlined his argument, using five points that he believes will benefit the consumer: It will streamline the franchising process, it will protect local franchise revenues, it will continue local management of the right of way, it will preserve local community programming and it will ease barriers to entry.

http://www.kansascitykansan.com/arti...ocal/news2.txt
post #85 of 4208
Found this article on IPTV..helps describe the basics of how the system works.

http://arstechnica.com/guides/other/iptv.ars/1

I am still a bit concerned with the bandwidth limit to each household (~25mbps). How will I be able to record two HD shows at once? Also seems like changing channels would take some time.

So this is still using the existing cable from the Node to your house, using two paris of wires. I'm not sure if most homes have 2 pair or 4 pair cable to the house, but couldn't they at least make sure you have 4 pairs to your house, to run 100mbps? Or is the distance from the Node to the house too great to carry that signal? I just see this as a major disadvantage compared to Verizon's service, where they bring fiber to the house, with speeds up to 5gbps, I believe.

Matt
post #86 of 4208
I agree with you Matt in that the bandwidth limitations we hear about with Lightspeed since the fibre ends at the node, is of major concern. What happens to those of us with 3 HD sets, which at certain times are all viewing different HD programming? Also, what about watching a show in HD on one channel and wanting to record a differing HD show on an HD DVR at the same time at that same site in the house, while also wanting to watch other HD programming elsewhere? IF ATT can only deliver 2 HD programs at any one time without severely reducing the bandwidth alloted to each channel, (ala Directv's 'HD Lite'), then I for one won't be signing up for Lightspeed, (whereas I'd pay Verizon for their FIOS TV programming if only it were available here).
Bish
post #87 of 4208
Eh, it's all vaporware. I'd be real surprised if SBC gets IPTV to work over my tired old copper infrastructure here in Cleveland... I can only get 2Mbps out of my 3Mbps SBC DSL Pro package here as it is...
post #88 of 4208
It would be cool if Verizon tried to poach out here in SBC, er AT&T land.
post #89 of 4208
Yes it would, the more the merrier.
post #90 of 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by oktoberrust11 View Post

I am still a bit concerned with the bandwidth limit to each household (~25mbps). How will I be able to record two HD shows at once? Also seems like changing channels would take some time.

I'm not sure how well the bandwidth will work, but as far as channel changing, another member posted earlier that apparently their system is so fast, they've patented the process.
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