Wheels remain greased for telcos


At least one thing pushed through the FCC by former Chairman Kevin Martin is staying put. That is his rulemaking that made it easier for telcos to gain franchising rights to offer MVPD services in competition with cable and satellite program suppliers. Martin’s package put local franchising authorities on a clock to approve or disapprove and limited the amount of riders they could piggyback onto an agreement. LFAs hate it and claim it limits their ability to manage their municipal infrastructure and rights of way. But the Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge, so the wheels remain greased.

RBR/TVBR observation: Competition between cable, satellite and telco remains sludgy because each one involves getting a household hooked up one way or the other. But the more options the better. MVPDs have much more motivation to improve service and keep a lid on prices with two other hungry MVPDs prowling around the same neighborhood.