A Good Idea Whose Time Has Come

If the legislature wants to do one exciting thing this coming year, it should consider wholly scrapping the local franchise. The local franchise doesn’t have anything to do with fast food restaurants; rather the local franchise is that agreement by which a cable company structures a very lengthy agreement with a municipality to provide cable service.

The negotiations are complex and the franchise agreement derived from the negotiations is usually more complex. In Texas, the legislature scrapped the local franchise requirement. Subsequently, Texas saw a flood of companies entering its markets and trying out new technology, including Verizon, which has successfully deployed FIOS. FIOS is a new fiber optic network that delivers 15mbps of highspeed internet down for less than what you are now paying for a 4mbps cable broadband connection. (Yeah!!!!)

Congress is currently considering a new telecom act that would scrap the local franchise. Georgia should beat Congress on this. I’m covering the issue and other issues related to broadband over at Broadband Blog.

2 comments

  1. albert says:

    I’m holding my nose and my breath. The last time congress passed legislation on deregulation they screwed it all up and drove the costs higher. Having franchises does nothing more than create than create monopolies.

    I’m willing to bet a years salary on this. They won’t do a thing consumer friendly and allow free markets. Time Warner, Comcast, Cox and all the other big cable companies will lobby hard against it.

    Now, watch the money start flowing to campaigns and this will become a mere whisper.

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