Cicconi: Forced Access Fizzles

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Washington-AT & T Corp. general counsel James W. Cicconi said last Wednesday that the effort to force cable operators to carry unaffiliated Internet-service providers is fizzling out.

Speaking before the Washington Metropolitan Cable Club here, Cicconi said forced-access proponents have lost steam due to court setbacks and changes in the marketplace.

The effort, he added, is being kept alive by the local phone industry, which fears competition from cable-telephony providers like AT & T.

"I don't think this issue has got any legs any longer," he said. "This issue is really dying."

AT & T said earlier last Wednesday that it will launch a six-month trial in Boulder, Colo., to examine technical issues surrounding offering multiple ISPs over cable plant.

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