PA: CWA Presses for Cable Choice Bill

Posted on February 8, 2008 - 7:45am.

from: Union Network

CWA Presses for Cable Choice Bill in Pennsylvania


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CWA this week urged Pennsylvania legislators to approve the Consumer Choice Cable Franchising and High-Speed Broadband Promotion Act, H.B 1490, to encourage the buildout of true high speed Internet networks and end the current cable monopoly in the state.

CWA research economist Debbie Goldman testified before the House Consumer Affairs Committee and pointed out that a number of states already have passed measures to ensure that residents, communities and business have access to new Internet applications and other technological changes that have come about through true high speed broadband. These include upgraded communications for emergency responders and municipalities, tele-medicine, distance learning, participation in government and civic affairs, and particularly, economic growth and jobs, she noted.

The bill would create a more streamlined, statewide process for companies to obtain the right to offer cable television services, spurring competition throughout the state. In addition, those companies that qualify for a statewide franchise will be required to meet minimum buildout standards for high speed Internet access to residents and businesses. The bill provides for mapping of broadband deployment across the state and calls for a process of consumer advocacy for the first time over cable services such as Internet, video programming and VoIP.

District 13 for several months has been building a coalition of city governments, consumer groups, labor and other groups to promote the legislation and is urging citizens to contact state lawmakers by going to a campaign website – – and sending e-mails urging support for the cable choice bill. "Far too many of our fellow citizens have been left behind in the information age and this bill would be a huge step toward closing the digital divide," said Vice President Jim Short.

( categories: PENNSYLVANIA | State Franchises )