Speaking to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in Washington Tuesday, Verizon EVP Tom Tauke said that revamping video franchise laws is crucial to rebuilding his company's wireline network.
Verizon is rolling out its FiOS multichannel video system in competition to cable and satellite and is seeking to bypass contentious local franchise negotiations, arguing that it is in the government's interest to speed broadband deployment and price and service competition to cable.
“Video is an essential component of the package of services consumers want,” he told the NARUC crowd. Tauke said that federal and state franchise reforms are needed to remove barriers to entry and to speed deployment of broadband.
The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Feb. 15 on video franchising, including a bill that would create a national franchising scheme. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is scheduled to testify at that hearing.