If Comcast can get what it wants against the wishes of the people of Philadelphia at the city level and at the federal level, it raises serious questions about whether we should be supporting a state franchising bill.
That's something that Verizon is pushing and that community organizations and public access stations around the country have generally opposed. But Philadelphia, whose public access channels remain inactive and unfunded and whose City Council laughs at potential competitors like RCN cable or local-sports-carrying satellite, is in a special situation.
Of course, a state franchise for Verizon video service is no guarantee that they would roll out video in every neighborhood in Philadelphia, especially if they don't have access to local sports programming. That's why an effective non-discrimination or buildout clause is critical to any state franchise bill.
Read more of my articles on Comcast.