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On Jan. 17 Massachusetts state legislators introduced legislation that would finally bring cable choice to the Commonwealth. State Senator Steve Panagiotakos (Lowell) and Representative Jim Vallee (Franklin) introduced the Massachusetts Cable Choice and Competition Act.
Today’s communication market is changing rapidly, with growing competition between phone, wireless, cable, satellite, and other providers. The proposed bill promotes competition while creating incentives to invest in the networks that will place Massachusetts at the forefront of the emerging new telecommunications market.
Under the proposed legislation, the franchise application process would be greatly streamlined by allowing the state to grant franchise licenses for specific areas rather than having to apply town by town. The Commonwealth would have fifteen days to approve an application. Consumers would win by having a choice in providers. When companies compete to provide service, consumers win through more choices and lower prices.
FreedomWorks Chief Economist Dr. Wayne Brough commented:
“The change in the law will allow more competition in the video programming market. This is good news for consumers, because it means greater choice and newer, innovative technologies will be available in Massachusetts. Under the old system, to provide video programming required a cumbersome approval on town-by-town basis. This time-consuming and costly process acted as a barrier to competition. Now, thanks to this new law, companies can apply for a franchise at the state level and the approval process is only 15 days. These changes will encourage the deployment of broadband networks that will bring the latest technologies to consumers across Massachusetts.”
The Massachusetts campaign is a part of FreedomWorks' national "Choose Your Cable" campaign, an effort in support of broad nationwide telecommunications reform at both the state and federal level through an integrated campaign that includes extensive activist education, targeted grassroots lobbying, and both print and television advertising. Most recently, FreedomWorks efforts helped to enact cable franchise reform in Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana, and Kansas.
FreedomWorks is a national grassroots organization promoting lower taxes, less government, and more freedom nationwide with over 800,000 members.