UT: Telecom Stalemate and Eminent Domain Fight Loom

Posted on February 23, 2007 - 12:03pm.

from: ulctlegislative.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Telecom Stalemate and Eminent Domain Fight Loom

After a short meeting with many of the cable franchise stakeholders and the two powerful legislators (Senator Curt Bramble and Representative Steve Urquhart) who happen to be on opposite sides of the cable franchise debate, it appears that a stalemate on the issue will be unavoidable.

While Qwest, Broadweave and AT&T are attempting to impose some variation of a statewide franchise for cable service, the Utah League of Cities, Comcast and Orange Broadband have resisted the effort, largely siting local, municipal control as the main issue that must be protected in any franchise arrangement.

Senator Curt Bramble will likely run SB209 early Friday. This bill imposes a statewide franchise arrangement and removes many aspects of municipal control from franchise arrangements. The current draft of the bill would turn many of the traditional franchise functions over to the state public service commission. The bill will likely pass easily out of the Senate but will have a much tougher time in the House. With only 4 days left in the 2007 legislative session, it is likely that we will be talking about this issue for much of the summer. The obvious default position will be to not pass the legislation in the House and just study it during the interim period ....will see how prophetic this post proves to be.

( categories: State Franchises | UTAH )