On Wednesday the FCC handed down a new ruling that will make it easier for telecom providers to roll out IPTV services, which would bypass traditional cable company offerings. The commission voted 3-2 that AT&T and Verizon shouldn't have "unreasonable conditions" imposed on them by local municipalities whose rules often differ from one city to the next. However, the two dissenting Democrats cited the fact that it may become more difficult for municipalities to require providing public access to television channels over the internet. Further, these same commissioners remained concerned that the phone companies would select more affluent neighborhoods over lower class ones because the new ruling eliminates the long-standing policy that the same level of service must be offered to all residents in a given area. Based on those arguments and others, the new ruling is likely to be challenged in court and possibly by Congress; Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who will be heading the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in January, will also be checking whether or not this falls under the FCC's purview. In other words, it ain't over until that fat bandwidth pipe really sings.

[Via Slashdot]

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