Judge: AT&T Needs Franchise in Connecticut

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A federal judge in Connecticut ruled Thursday that AT&T’s U-verse TV multichannel-video service is a cable service under federal law, forcing the telco to obtain a franchise before furnishing service.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton reversed a ruling by Connecticut regulators last June that said U-verse TV was a two-way product that didn’t meet the federal “cable-service” definition, despite the similarity to traditional cable TV on viewers’ screens.

Cablevision Systems and the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association sued the state Department of Public Utility Control for failing to treat AT&T as a traditional cable TV provider.

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