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RealTime IT News

SBC Spurs Fiber in Texas

Fresh off a legislative victory making it easier for telecoms to offer TV service, SBC Communications is earmarking $800 million for fiber upgrades in Texas.

"Texas consumers will have more choices, better products and a much-needed alternative in the TV and entertainment market," Jan Newton, president of SBC Texas, said in a statement.

San Antonio, Texas-based SBC will deploy approximately 5,500 miles of fiber and related network gear in Texas as part of a broader effort to install fiber that will deliver IP-based video, voice, and high-speed Internet.

In addition, the Baby Bell is extending its DSL service to the remaining 72 suburban and rural SBC Texas central offices that do not have the capability today.

The announcements were made by company officials, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, state and local officials, and executives from Alcatel at its Plano, Texas, IPTV Demonstration Center.

Network equipment vendor Alcatel is among the companies supporting SBC's fiber project.

Verizon , which lobbied alongside SBC to streamline video rollout requirements, is also expected to pick up the pace of its fiber deployments in the state.

The measure, passed in Texas, allowed the Baby Bells to petition the public utilities commission for a statewide video franchise license rather than negotiate deals with each community, a process that can take between six and 18 months.

Cable companies, which must still negotiate individual deals with local municipalities, opposed the change.