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.

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