TN: Cable bill passes House

Posted on April 28, 2008 - 8:14pm.

from: AP Wire

Cable bill passes House
Associated Press - April 28, 2008 6:35 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to provide statewide cable TV franchising has passed the House.

The legislation approved 93-2 on Monday would allow companies like AT&T Inc. to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits to offer TV service.

It's an amendment to a bill that fell apart last year because of disagreements among AT&T, the cable industry and local governments.

Earlier this month, lawmakers involved in compromise negotiations held a news conference to unveil the new proposal.

One key component is a so-called "build-out" requirement that prevents companies from "cherry-picking" customers by choosing wealthy areas over low-income neighborhoods.

Companies have 3 1/2 years to make service available to at least 30% of the households in their franchise area. Twenty-five percent of those have to be low-income. Providers that don't meet the requirements face stiff fines.

( categories: AT&T | State Franchises | TENNESSEE )