By Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director, WCCA TV-13
Not long ago, and it seems every now and then, the telecoms and cable companies lobby government to manipulate legislators to enhance their own ability to corner the market. For instance: Using misinformation by suggesting local cable franchise regulations curtail competition, when it doesn’t. Competition itself does not guarantee lower rates either (e.g. why is the cost of gas for your car going up when there is a gas station on nearly every block in some areas for example?). It is also simply a lie to say that public access TV or PEG centers cause rate hikes or that they depend on city tax money.
Companies like Verizon, l AT & T and others lobbied hard to eliminate “locally controlled” (City) franchise authority and locally determined regulations. Luckily for all of us, they were not successful in Massachusetts. For a few other states it’s an unfortunate, different story. By moving local franchise authority to state controlled, where they can perhaps take the local community input further away from the process. Claiming it would reduce rates when, over the long term, it would not. The only thing we would end up with, if such a case were successful, would be higher rates and no public access. I see no win there – unless you’re a CEO for one of those companies. Continue reading AT & T raises U-Verse TV rates. So much for those franchise reform laws!