AT&T Wins California Video Franchise

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The California Public Utilities Commission Friday formally approved AT&T’s application for a statewide franchise to provide video service in California.

"The CPUC's approval of our application brings Californians one step closer to finally having a real choice to cable TV,” AT&T California president Ken McNeely said in a prepared statement. The telco, he added, will be “rolling out our TV/video service -- AT&T U-verse -- in cities throughout the state as soon as possible."

AT&T has already begun offering U-verse TV service in limited areas of Northern California, including neighborhoods in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Cupertino.

The Golden State earlier this month granted Verizon Communications’ application for a video franchise, under which the telco plans to offer FiOS TV service in 45 cities throughout Southern California. Verizon last week announced availability of video service in 12 Southern California communities.

California’s Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006, enacted Jan. 1, provides a mechanism for service providers to receive a statewide video franchise. It requires the PUC to rule that a franchise application is complete within 30 days, and gives it another 14 days after that to issue a franchise.

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