Friday, June 16, 2006

Cable TV Competition Bill

Legislative committees agreed to create new rules guiding who can provide television through cable or broadband Internet. The nearly identical bills approved in House and Senate committees (HB 2047 and SB 1559) would eliminate the current system of local franchise deals that cities and counties have made for decades with cable television companies. Instead, the bill would turn over franchising authority to the Secretary of State’s Office. Critics of the bill, including the City of Greensboro, contend the statewide franchise doesn’t give local governments the same negotiating power with cable television companies to ensure customers will receive service. The House Finance Committee and Senate Commerce Committee rejected all amendments that would have made the bill more consumer friendly.

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