Indiana Passes Statewide Video Franchise Law

Mar 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed statewide legislation into law Tuesday, joining Texas as the only states in the U.S. that allow phone companies to offer video services by obtaining a franchise license at the state level.

The new law will mean that telephone companies such as AT&T will no longer have to seek town-by-town approvals to offer video and can instead seek approval from the state. The new law also requires that applicants get an answer within 15 days of applying. The law applies to cable operators as well.

Indiana becomes the second state in the United States to pass the video franchising reform, which was helped along by the telco industry’s heavy lobbying to ease the application process involved in offering video.

Virginia last week passed a law that expedites the video franchise application process but still leaves the ultimate decision to local municipalities. To enact a statewide video franchise rule would have required changing the Virginia Constitution-considered a long shot.

Other states are expected to take up the statewide video franchising issue in the coming weeks, with legislatures in New Jersey, Kansas, Missouri, California, Florida and South Carolina all in various stages of debating the topic.