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Cable TV update.

Recent decisions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court have paved the way for a new era of information and telecommunications services.

At this juncture, it is critical for a cable/telco regulatory framework to be put in place. Municipal officials are encouraged to contact their representatives regarding the following cable legislation:

House

Reps. Dennis Eckart (D-OH), Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) still need cosponsors for H.R. 3560, the "Cable Consumer Protection Act of 1991."

Local government representatives have been working closely with Congressional staff to create this municipally-based alternative to current calbe legislation, and now our help is needed to see that it remains viable.

The Eckart-Cooper bill would give cities more control over their cable services and rates. The legislation would allow for local regulation of the basic tier which is defined as local broadcast signals, PEG channels and "any other programming service (except those non-advertiser supported programming services offered on a per channel or per program basis)>"

Interested Congressional Members should contact the offices of Reps. Eckart, Cooper or Shays to join as a cosponsor.

Senate

Although there is no firm word on when S.12--the "Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1991"--will reach the Senate floor, it could be in the next few weeks. Senators Jack Danforth (R-MO), Danniel Inouye (D-HI) and Slade Gorton (R-WA), along with representatives from the Consumer Federation of America, National Association Broadcasters and labor unions, held a press conference Thursday to discuss S.12.

NLC, together with USCM, NACo and NATOA, sent a letter to the entire Membership of the Senate stating that S.12 "represents an important step toward correcting the serious inadequacies in the current (cable) law."

The Senate's bill will allow for local regulation where there is no effective competition, discourages re-tiering of cable programming and requires operators to carry local broadcast signals. The cable industry will undoubtedly be renewing its attack on these provisions.

Local government representatives in Washington are working with Senate staff on amendments to S.12 that would provide more municipal control and better consumer protection. Copies of these amendments and a draft letter to your Senate representative in support of the cable bill is available through Anna Ferrera at NLC - (202) 626-3020.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:survey of cable television legislation pending in both houses
Author:Ferrera, Anna Pulido
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 11, 1991
Words:384
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