Oregon Appeals Court Rules Cable Is Telco Service

BOSTON (06/22/2000) - In the battle over cable broadband access, a U.S. appellate court on Thursday sided with AT&T Corp., ruling that it does not have to open up its network to competing ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Portland, Oregon.

Officials from municipalities like San Francisco and Broward County, Florida, have taken the city of Portland's position that Internet via cable should be regulated at the local level.

The three-member 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, overturned a lower court ruling and said that AT&T is not a cable network, but is a telecommunications company and should therefore fall under federal jurisdiction.

In a statement, AT&T officials said the ruling clarifies the limits of local control when it comes to high-speed Internet access over cable. Excite@Home is partially owned by AT&T and has exclusive rights until 2002 to AT&T's cable network. Some ISPs, such as America Online Inc., have argued that AT&T should be required to open its network to competition.

AT&T, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-908-221-2000 or http://www.att.com/.

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