Saturday, April 22, 2006

AB 2897: Millions being spent on regulatory battle instead of service improvements

Here’s an analysis of legislation, AB 2897, that would give the California Department of Corporations sole authority to grant cable and video franchises, preempting the existing authority of local governments to grant the franchises.

The bill’s proponents including AT&T and other telecom vendors want one stop shopping to obtain video franchises from the state rather than having to separately negotiate agreements with cities and counties.

There’s nothing in the analysis that suggests AB 2987 would do anything to expand broadband Internet access in El Dorado County despite the bill’s stated purpose to promote competition among providers. It’s unfortunate that these vendors are spending millions on regulatory food fights rather than investing those dollars in urgently needed improvements to upgrade and expand their services.

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