Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is asking AT&T Corp. whether the company
intends to provide multiple Internet-service providers in all of its
Massachusetts broadband markets within a few months.
While praising AT&T Broadband's carriage deal last week with EarthLink
Inc., Markey noted that the deal covers the Greater Boston area, while the MSO
has committed to provide multiple ISPs throughout the state no later than July
'As you may recall, in June 2000, in exchange for dropping a ballot
initiative on ISP choice, AT&T reached an agreement with a Massachusetts
consumer coalition for securing multiple-ISP choice,' Markey said in a March 15
letter to AT&T Corp. chairman and CEO C. Michael Armstrong. 'The agreement
explicitly encompassed AT&T Broadband systems statewide.'
Markey, the most senior Democrat on the House Subcommittee on
Telecommunications and the Internet, has been a strong advocate for requiring
cable operators to provide multiple ISPs.
He was critical of the Federal Communications Commission's decision last week
that allows cable operators to deny access to third-party ISPs.
AT&T spokesman Jim McGann said the company would address Markey's
'AT&T Broadband is committed to providing consumers with a choice of
ISPs, as our EarthLink announcement last week indicates,' McGann said.
'Congressman Markey has some specific questions about the timing and scope of
our plans, and we are preparing a response to him, which we will deliver as soon