AT&T eager to provide new source of cable TV (1 Viewer)


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Apr 18, 2005
DeKalb County, AL
LANSING -- AT&T Inc. will begin negotiations with local governments to offer cable TV in Michigan, a potential breakthrough for customers who want more competition.

AT&T will start with the city of Detroit and soon meet with other communities, with hopes of selling cable service in Michigan later this year or early next.

Spokesman Jon Kreger said Tuesday that AT&T wants to negotiate an agreement with municipalities that "gives consumers a choice and allows us to quickly get into the market."

Cable providers such as Comcast Corp. now dominate much of the state's market, having secured individual franchises from each of the cities and towns where they do business.

Phone companies with new video technology are backing Michigan legislation that would let them get a statewide franchise without negotiating in every community.

Kreger said reforming the franchise system remains AT&T's top priority, but the company wants to move ahead and address concerns raised by local governments.

Local communities fear the legislation, if passed, would allow phone companies to cherry-pick wealthier customers and ignore seniors, low-income and rural residents. Existing franchises require service to everyone.

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