Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Rob Frieden


The Internet increasingly provides an alternative distribution medium for video and other types of high value, bandwidth intensive content commonly called Internet Protocol Television ("IPTV"). While many consumers have become indifferent about their wire line or wireless service provider, they expect their video service providers to offer access anytime, anywhere, via any device, and in any format. These early adopters of new technologies have no patience with the concept of "appointment television" that limits access to a specific time, presentation, and channel. My article offers a clear assessment of whether and how the FCC can resolve disputes that can prevent consumers from having access to bandwidth intensive video via the Internet. While the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rejected the FCC's legal strategy on two separate occasions, the FCC can serve as a referee to resolve disputes provided it does not impose public utility or common carrier requirements.