(By way of explanation/disclaimer/credibility enhancer/armchair-quarterbacking, let me say that I was chairman of my town’s cable TV regulatory commission for 3 or 4 years and had the extreme pleasure of negotiating 2 franchise agreements with Comcast.)
This quick blog note is in response to the news that Comcast is charging L3 to deliver movies and other content that would normally be available to Comcast cable subscribers, but over Comcast’s data network.
IANAL, but it sure seems like Comcast has jumped the shark by asking that their data service to be considered the same as their CATV service as far as fees to deliver movies. If so, I’d say the FCC should declare the two Comcast networks identical and let localities tax and franchise the crap out of Comcast’s data pipes the same way they can regulate and tax the Comcast CATV network. IMO, Comcast just gave up common carrier status for their data network and if I was NYC or any other big city, I’d be knocking on their door with a new franchise agreement that taxed them for as much as they are charging L3.
Just my $.02. But since I have Verizon’s FiOS service for video and data, I really only marginally care out of anything more significant than latent spite and malice left over from many hours of wasted time hassling with their legal team over franchise terms. Good luck, L3. Don’t let ’em get away with it!