FCC Video Franchise Meeting Delayed


The FCC was once again unable to start a meeting--this time over last-minute negotiation-- on a video franchise item..

As of 9:30 on Wednesday, open meeting at which it was planning to address video franchise and cable rate issues, among others, had yet to start at press time, with 1 p.m. the latest start time given, though no meeting had commenced at 1:15.

The past several meetings had been delayed or cancelled or their lineups re-shuffled as the commissioners tried to work through their differences on the AT&T/Bell South merger, which have yet to be reconciled.

The video franchise issue was the holdup in the current meeting, which is expected to be delayed for several hours.

The FCC is considering changes to the local franchise process to insure that it is not unreasonably impeding the roll-out of video and broadband competition to cable. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has recently pointed to rising cable prices as evidence that the competition is needed.