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LuxSit, spot on again.

I ploughed through most of the material, and agree with your assessment.

Clause 3 (in the draft Letter of Acceptance attached to Ordinance 172955) stands out like a sore thumb, and led me to think about how it could be countered. Here goes with a late-night ramble...

The status quo before the merger approval was sought was that TCI held the franchise (albeit with service problems), and had the right, prior to the proposal, to implement cable internet. So far as I am aware there had been NO complaints of exclusivity or requests for competitive access prior to the announcement of the merger (and I would expect to see it mentioned in the Commission's ordinance if this had ever been discussed earlier, to establish the precedent. This would actually have provided strong support for the commission's case, so if it hasn't been mentioned it can't have happened).

The only thing that has changed in the situation under approval is the ownership/control of the franchise. Why does competition suddenly become an issue at this stage, when it wasn't before?

Answer: it isn't. The commission is simply pushing its toys out of the pram because it remembers AT&T of old, and because TCI has experienced performance difficulties. Did you see that complaint about the rights of way? It seemed pretty ridiculous. This may be less about TCI being taken over than about WHO is doing it.

Interesting too that the commission tied its recommendations to the FCC case - covering their own backs, I suspect, in case things went wrong.

And they have. The Awkward Cities are now isolated, without FCC support.

As you say,
The real losers in the court battle will be the citizens of the Portland area. If the city and county prevail they will lose out on a first class communication plant, If city and County lose they get saddled with a lot of legal expenses. Hopefully they will wise up soon.

I sincerely hope they have left themselves room to back down. It would be no disgrace, and they would have got a good deal from AT&T. Actually, they would have done quite well on behalf of their constituents.
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