IL: AT$T applies for video permit

Posted on September 25, 2007 - 7:08am.

from: Chicago Tribune

AT&T applies for video permit
Company seeks state approval of franchise

By Jon Van

Tribune staff reporter

September 25, 2007

Although still a few months away from offering competitive video service in Illinois, AT&T on Monday applied to the state for a video franchise under a law enacted in June.

The application to the Illinois Commerce Commission should result in a permit granted to the phone company by the end of October to offer its U-verse video service here. Paul La Schiazza, the president of AT&T Illinois, said he expects to start offering the service in some communities early next year.

Since the law was enacted, AT&T has implemented business practices intended to comply with its requirements. These include consumer protection provisions such as requiring a service provider to tell a customer when a technician will visit a customer's home within a 4-hour time frame. If the technician doesn't meet the promised time of the visit, the customer is entitled to compensation.

"We want to make sure we can do everything required by the law," said La Schiazza. "Our application says that we believe we are at the point where we have the capability to meet the law's requirements."

AT&T workers are installing fiber upgrades to the company's existing network so that it can carry video, he said, and those upgrades will also improve the speed and reach of the company's high-speed digital subscriber line service.

A state law gave AT&T the opportunity to apply for one license from the state in lieu of having to apply to each municipality in exchange for an agreement that, among other things, calls for guaranteed customer service performance.

Under terms of the video franchising law, the company must make its video services available to 50 percent of customers within five years. La Schiazza said he expects demand will cause AT&T to exceed the law's 50 percent requirements.

"Our goal is to deploy the service as widely as possible," he said, "although there are some technical limitations."


( categories: AT&T | ILLINOIS | State Franchises )