Cable MSOs Call for 'Fair' Franchising

Texas cable industry opposes HB 3179

April 27, 2005

1 Min Read

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association (TCTA), which represents 24 cable companies in over 800 Texas cities throughout the state, announced today that it opposes HB 3179, which passed out of the House Regulated Industries Committee tonight.

   "This bill is full of unintended-and, in some cases, intended-consequences that add up to extremely bad public policy," Tom Kinney, chairman of TCTA and president of Time Warner Cable.Austin, said. "The most disturbing aspects include provisions that sanction redlining by the big phone companies."

   The cable industry had urged that all telecommunications companies be treated equally when they deploy broadband to communities and that fullbuild- out without regard to demographics be required. SBC and Verizon and fought this provision. "The big phone companies triumphed in their attempt to get the state to sanction redlining," Kinney said.

   TCTA leaders noted that, late last year, SBC announced plans to build fiber-optic networks that will deliver voice, high-speed Internet and television services under an initiative called Project Lightspeed. In reports to investors in November, 2004, the company illustrated its plans to target only 5 percent of "low-value" consumers, while deploying the advanced services to 90 percent of "high-value" neighborhoods and to 70 percent of "medium-value" neighborhoods.

   "SBC and Verizon want to come into communities and cherry-pick wealthy neighborhoods at the expense of poorer areas where new services can help bridge the Digital Divide. State-sanctioned redlining of poor people is contrary to everything we stand for as Texans," Kinney said. "Now that HB 3179 is apparently headed for a debate on the House floor, we urge the full House to hold firm against the big phone companies' efforts to implement legislation that is bad for Texas consumers."

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