Telco Video Is Cable, Says NCTA


In a filing with the FCC Tuesday, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association  (NCTA) reiterated its argument that telco video should be treated as a cable video service subject to the same regulation as NCTA's members are bound by.

Last month, SBC told the FCC that it didn't think telco video should be treated as a cable service delivered over a cable network because it would be using Internet protocol (IP) switched technology to deliver a converged voice, video and data service.

SBC was responding to NCTA's initial filing that there is nothing essentially different about cable and telco video services that would warrant disparate treatment.

"The 'switched' nature of its proposed service does not take it outside of the [FCC's] definition of cable service, which includes 'subscriber interaction...required for the selection or use' of video programming," NCTA argued, "nor does the proposed 'integration' of services to be offered by SBC change the fact that it will be offering cable service as at least one of those services....

"SBC's potential [incorporation] of IP technology into its system architecture, and its bundling of video with other products, does not alter the regulatory treatment of the underlying video programming service," NCTA said.

NCTA points out that if Congress wants to change the regulatory landscape in light of new competition, it is free to do so, but should do so for everybody, not just telcos.

The FCC is currently considering ways to make it easier for telcos to enter the TV space as a means of furthering the governmental interests of increased broadband service and video price and service competition.