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FCC Internet TV

FCC Internet TV - U.S. Internet TV services planned by Microsoft, Google and Amazon could be held back by imminent rules that would allow phone and cable companies to charge consumers based on usage, media executives told Reuters.

The Web traffic rules, due to be voted on by the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, could tip the economics away from consumers watching TV over Internet lines if they help cable companies charge more versus their own television offerings.

Said one executive at a major US media company: "in the event a cable company feels threatened" by Internet TV services, "they could control offerings through pricing the usage."

FCC Internet TV

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal would ban Internet providers from blocking lawful content but acknowledge their need to manage their networks. The plan looked assured of adoption after his two fellow Democrats on the commission announced their support on Monday, despite some misgivings.

In recent months, major companies including Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Amazon.com have worked on plans for advanced pay-TV packages that could entice viewers to drop more expensive subscriptions sold by cable companies like Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable.

These new services aim to make available many of the same TV channels and programs offered by local cable and phone companies, but would also feature enhanced interactive and social media features.

But high-speed Internet access is crucial to such plans. That could bring anyone that offers these new services in conflict with cable TV companies, which are also the leading providers of residential Internet service.

FCC Internet TV

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