In a statement which has chilled the blood of many U.S. IPTV operators, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has just asked the state’s Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to require that AT&T obtain a cable TV license for its IPTV offering.
Connecticut AG Blumenthal stated “this (AT&T U-Verse IPTV) service must be licensed as cable, regulated as cable.”
In light of a July 27 ruling by Federal Judge Janet Bond Arterton that AT&T’s U-Verse IPTV service is a cable television service, the DPUC has the ability to stop AT&T’s infrastructure improvements and construction, as well as its marketing activities for enrolling new customers until it complies with the onerous licensing requirement.
AT&T is expected to appeal by next week’s deadline. A loss in the appeal process could open the door to IPTV operators being required to obtain cable TV licenses throughout the country, a move which could completely change the industry and drive smaller operators out of the market.