California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill into law which aims to open up the Californian cable TV market and promote competition.
The legislation was authored by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee chairman Lloyd Levine, and is intended to streamline the process for companies to obtain video franchises.
US operator Verizon, which is presently connecting a nationwide fibre-optic network directly to customers' homes, is building its optical network in many of the wireline telephone areas it serves in California.
The network is the technological platform from which customers receive Verizon's FiOS TV, ultra-fast internet and phone services.
Verizon west region president Tim McCallion said "Under this law, California sets a new standard for accelerating cable TV competition, and customers can expect new choices, greater value and improved service in terms of video providers."