CA Legislature Pass Bill on Cable TV Competition
By LongDistanceUS.com on Friday, June 2 2006
California's Democratic-dominated Assembly passed a bill that could increase competition among cable television providers and make it easier for telephone companies to enter the market, a Reuters report said.
The report said the bill by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez would eliminate city-by-city franchises, which he said made it nearly impossible for rivals with new technologies to enter California's market for television entertainment services.
It passed by a rare unanimous vote of 70-0 in the often-divided Legislature, with 10 members not present during the night vote, the report said.
Telephone companies including AT&T Inc. had lobbied for legislation to eliminate laws requiring franchise deals with municipalities before they could offer television services, the report said.
The report said AT&T planned to invest up to $1 billion in California through the end of 2008 to upgrade its telephone network in the state and to launch an Internet-protocol video entertainment service, which would compete with cable-TV companies.