Georgia Legislation

This page last updated 4/27/07
Recent State News via saveaccess: newswire

Bill Number(s):
HB 227, Consumer Choice for Television Act Read Bill

HB is on the verge of passage, approved by House and sent to the governor. 4/27/07

HB 227 Status:
01/31/2007 House First Readers
02/01/2007 House Second Readers
02/22/2007 House Committee Favorably Reported
03/20/2007 House Third Readers
03/20/2007 House Passed/Adopted
03/27/2007 Senate Read and Referred
03/30/2007 Senate Committee Favorably Reported
04/11/2007 Senate Passes HB 227, 52-2
04/13/2007 House Agree Senate Amend or Sub
04/27/2007 House Sent to Governor

HB 227 passed in a House vote 166-2, see roll call vote.

There are no buildout requirements.

Rights of Way
There is no specific language for rights of way.

• HB 227 outlines more stringent programming requirements and places limitations on a county being able to get an exclusive channel in a cable system’s lineup.

• 15 hours of nonduplicating original programming a month for each channel. Scrolling messages or bulletin board information would not count as non-duplicating programming. This will make it tougher for counties and cities to maintain these public access channels.

• Allows existing public access channels to continue through 2012, even if the channels don’t meet the bill’s programming requirements.

• Cable companies also will be able to combine programming from several counties and cities and decide when the programs will run.

• Franchise fee is currently 25 cents per subscriber and goes to the county to purchase equipment for programming production. The bill does provide that state cable franchise holders will pay local governments a 5 percent franchise fee on gross revenues for cable and video service. However,there are fears that fee revenue will fall because of the language of the bill. And there are further fears that after 2012, the funding will disappear.

Source: Free Press

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