Attorney General Richard Blumenthal seeks to stop AT&T from constructing new facilities and signing up customers until it has a license.
The petition is in reaction to the July 26 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton. That court ruling overturned a 2006 decision by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control that determined that U-verse TV does not meet the definition of a traditional cable service.
The DPUC proactively took the action last year to define the new video-delivery method. Because video is delivered at the demand of the consumer -- and in bits and bytes, rather than a continuing stream -- the commissioners agreed with AT&T that the product is not a cable service. That determination was on a close, 3-2 vote of the commission last June. To date, the Connecticut regulators have been the only utility board to try to legally define U-verse TV as anything but a cable service.
Blumenthal's action is supported by the Office of Consumer Counsel for the state, William Vallee Jr., another consistent critic of the DPUC U-verse TV action. Both Blumenthal and Vallee said they support competition but added that regulation will ensure a truly competitive market.
The July 26 ruling "decisively cut short the miscalculation embarked upon" by the DPUC, Vallee said in a prepared statement, adding that an unequal playing field for video competitors is unacceptable and illegal.