SBC Communications is working the regulatory circuit as it tries to avoid complying with federal and local regulations on its next-generation services.
On Thursday, the FCC rejected the Baby BellÂ’s request to have its voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, service freed of traditional phone regulation, reports Reuters. The FCC rejected the request based on procedural issues, but it could take up the issue again at a later date, said Reuters.
SBC is also looking to be exempt from regulation on its proposed Internet Protocol TV service. The company has been publicly pushing its stance, saying that its new IPTV service is different from traditional cable TV and therefore should not be subject to the same rules as cable services.
Today, cable companies must pay franchise fees to local and state governments to provide their services in a particular market. SBC and Verizon, which also wants to get into the TV game, have been arguing that franchise rules should not apply to them. The debate over local franchise fees is just starting to heat up, so stay tuned.