Countries are taking various approaches to classifying IPTV. These approaches range from simply not addressing classification − instead focusing on competitive market entry into the video market − to denoting IPTV and its related functionalities as a regulated broadcasting service. Some countries are also developing a broad middle ground, where some services offered over IPTV platforms are considered broadcasting while others, such as VOD, are not.
In the United States, for example, IPTV has yet to be classified. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiated a proceeding on IP-enabled services in 2004, in which it made certain determinations about VoIP and other IP services but did not decide anything on IPTV services. This has not precluded FCC, however, from addressing certain perceived barriers to the deployment of IPTV services. FCC has:
- Declined to require incumbent local exchange carriers to provide unbundled access to their hybrid or FTTH loops for the provision of broadband services;
- Relaxed the process for issuing cable franchises (a licensing process) to facilitate entry into the video market; and
- Found that clauses granting cable providers exclusive access for the provision of video services to multiple dwelling units and other real estate developments harm competition and broadband deployment and were therefore illegal.
On the other end of the spectrum, some countries have adopted a technology-neutral approach to classifying IPTV. For example, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), considers IPTV one of the broadcast distribution technologies available for television programming. Services offered over this platform, including VOD, are deemed to be broadcasting services. IPTV providers fall within the category of broadcasting distribution companies, and are licensed accordingly.
Another approach is taken by the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Pakistan, where IPTV has not only been specifically classified as a broadcasting service, but new categories of broadcasting licences have been established. In Singapore, for example, “broadcasting” includes the IP transmission of any television programming − either full scheduled channels or VOD − to households via a broadband connection. The Republic of Korea has enacted a new law that classifies IPTV as an “Internet multimedia broadcasting” service. This is defined as a “type of broadcasting whereby various types of content, including real-time broadcasting programmes, are provided to users through television sets by way of Internet protocol that allows interactivity using fixed-line telecommunications facilities.”
Some jurisdictions are basing their regulatory classification of IPTV services on the degree of interactivity they allow. On this basis, many countries are distinguishing between broadcast and VoD elements of IPTV. For instance, the EU countries and New Zealand differentiate between transmission that is linear (transmitted at a scheduled time) or non-linear (content that is selected by the user and viewed when the viewer wishes). Linear programming is generally subject to broadcasting and content regulations. Non-linear content may be exempt from those regulations, as in New Zealand, or subject to some of them but not others, as in the EU.
 In the Matter of IP-Enabled Services, 19 FCC Rcd 4863, 4878 (2004).
 In the Matter of Review of the Section 251 Unbundling Obligations of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers; Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; Deployment of Wireline Services Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, 18 FCC Rcd 16978, 17103-04, 17149, paras 200, 288 (2003). These rules were upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Mar. 2, 2004, in United States Telecom Ass’n v. FCC, 359 F.3d 554, 564-76 (2004) (“USTA II”); In the Matter of Implementation of Section 621(a)(1) of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 as amended by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, 20 FCC Rcd 18581 (2006); In the Matter of Exclusive Service Contracts for Provision of Video Services in Multiple Dwelling Units and Other Real Estate Developments, 22 FCC Rcd 20235 (2007).
 Can. Radio-television and Telecomms. Comm’n (CRTC), The Future Environment Facing the Canadian Broadcasting System: A Report Prepared Pursuant to Section 15 of the Broadcasting Act (2006), available at www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/broadcast/rep061214.htm?Print=True. (“There are four broadcast distribution technologies available for television programming: conventional over-the-air (OTA) transmission, cable distribution, DTH satellite distribution and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)”).
 See Media Dev. Auth. (MDA), Licence Framework for Broadcasting IPTV Services, available at www.mda.gov.sg/wms.www/devnpolicies.aspx?sid=88.
 Internet Multimedia Broadcasting Business Act (Republic of Korea), approved by National Assembly in 2007, and implemented in April 2008.