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In this paper we consider the problem of optimal H.264 scalable video scheduling, with an objective of maximizing the end user video quality while ensuring fairness in 3G/4G broadband wireless networks. We propose a novel framework to characterize the video quality based utility of the H.264 temporal and quality scalable video layers. Subsequently we formulate the scalable video scheduling framework as a Markov decision process (MDP) for long term average video utility maximization and derive an optimal index based scalable video scheduling policy (ISVP) towards video quality maximization. This framework employs a reward structure which incorporates video quality and user starvation, thus leading to video quality maximization, while not compromising fairness. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed ISVP outperforms the Proportional Fairness (PF) and Linear Index Policy (LIP) schedulers in terms of end user video quality.