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Best Best & Krieger LLP Of Counsel Cheryl Leanza and Partner Tillman Lay were quoted in a Communications Daily article addressing how many states have or are considering bills that could clarify that streaming and satellite TV providers do not need to pay local fees, as a result of lawsuits filed by municipalities against Hulu, Netflix and other such entertainment companies. 

Recent legal and legislative action in the states “is more about a bigger picture question that is being actively debated at every level of government,” said Cheryl Leanza. “What do large, successful content providers and other online service providers owe to contribute to the public’s interest in high-speed broadband networks that reach everyone?”

As stated by Tim Lay, only under state law do the bills narrow the definition of video service . “They do not -- and cannot -- narrow the federal Cable Act’s definition of ‘cable service.’” They won’t affect fees in states without state video franchising laws and, “despite what video streamers and cable operators may tell you, neither the FCC nor any court has decided whether video streaming services are a ‘cable service”’ under the Cable Act.” Lay sees good “arguments that such services, when provided over a cable system, are indeed a ‘cable service.’”

Subscribers can read the entire article, “Growing Number of States Exempt Streamers From Paying Franchise Fees,” at Communications Daily.

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