It appears that Verizon has been lobbying the Department of Telecommunication and Energy, here in MA, to get rid of those pesky local video franchise agreements.
The phone companies are complaining that "it's not good for consumers" that they have to wait so long while municipalities negotiate franchise agreements with them.
Here's an excerpt from an article in Friday's Globe that discusses the issue:
"Verizon: Speed cable decisions
Firm wants towns to face deadlines on OK of contracts
By Keith Reed, Globe Staff | March 17, 2006
Verizon Communications Inc. asked state officials yesterday to impose a tight deadline on local governments weighing its requests for licenses to sell cable television.
The phone company, which is spending billions on a fiber-optic network that will allow it to compete with Comcast Corp. and other cable companies, is frustrated by the time some municipalities are taking to give it a firm answer.
It asked the state Department of Telecommunications and Energy to require cities and towns to decide such applications within 90 days.
If it gets its way, Verizon's push to offer its FiOS TV service could be expedited in the Boston area, where it is only offered in two communities but where almost two dozen other applications for franchise licenses are pending."
Read the rest of the article here.