Currently in Pennsylvania, cable franchising involves negotiating a deal with each of the 2,565 municipalities individually. For Verizon, who has laid fiber in about 1,600 of these, getting deals done is a long, slow process making it nearly impossible to quickly move in on their cable competitors. Verizon hasn't actually started offering its FiOS
TV service and the included two-dozen or so HDTV channels in Pennsylvania but when they do, they'd like to negotiate one deal for the whole state all at once. That's the idea of a bill submitted by State Senators Dominic Pileggi and Anthony Williams, proposing the creation of a single state-administered uniform agreement for anyone offering video services. The President of Verizon Pennsylvania stated their network could carry everything the cable companies have and up to 220 high definition channels at the same time, while cable in the area is limited to only twelve. Of course we're still -- anxiously -- waiting for there to be 220 HDTV channels but you get the point.
Naturally, the resident cable companies sort of like the system the way it is, arguing that change will take power away from local communities, give Verizon an unfair advantage and don't see change as necessary. Any HD Beat Pennsylvania readers plan on stopping by Penn State's Delco campus August 8th and
pleading for 220 HDTV channels
giving the legislature a piece of their mind?
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.