If a subscriber wants to switch their phone service from AT&T to Verizon, they just subscribe to the new company, which cancels service from the old one. But if a subscriber to a cable MVPD service wants to switch to a telco MVPD service, the consumer has to set up a disconnect with the cable company. The telcos are petitioning the FCC to end this situation and allow free consumer movement between the rival video services. Meanwhile, cable giants — which already offer phone and internet services along with their video fare in competition with telcos — are banding together in an attempt to make WiMax wireless internet delivery a reality, further upping the ante between the rival industries. Comcast is said to be kicking in 1B, and Time/Warner 500M, in a development deal that also includes Sprint Nextel and Clearwire.
RBR/TVBR observation: Cable companies are encroaching into telco territory and vice versa. As they overlap more and more, the trend seems to be pointed toward a day when the only difference between the two will be their histories.