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Verizon Will Prevail In TV Regulation, CEO Says

CHICAGO -- After having spent billions building wireless networks, digging trenches and stringing optical fiber, Verizon Communications isn't about to let competitors or regulators keep it from bringing you your MTV.

In both his keynote speech here at the Supercomm show Tuesday morning and in a question-and-answer period later, Verizon CEO Ivan Siedenberg said that the company will prevail, eventually overcoming both the television franchising concerns and competitors' rhetoric that might now seem like big roadblocks in Verizon's path to becoming a widescale provider of video and television content and services over its IP-based wireless, wireline and fiber-based links.

While Verizon and SBC recently lost an early battle over television regulation in Texas, Seidenberg said Tuesday that he is confident that the weight of public opinion -- as well as perhaps some heavily lobbied members of Congress -- will eventually produce regulations more friendly to new entrants in the television markets.

"I think the market will [help] decide the issue," Seidenberg said. When Verizon offers its TV services, "if the customers like what we do, then public policy will probably line up behind it, over time," he added.

While cable competitors have been gaining some headlines by accusing Verizon and other potential telco competitors of "redlining," loosely defined as plans to ignore lower-revenue customers in favor of folks with money to burn on broadband, Seidenberg called that a "bogus" argument.

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