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Press Release

    FreedomWorks Supports Sen. Ensign Telecom Reform Bill

    11/15/2005

    Click here to download the .pdf.

    The Honorable Bill Frist
    Majority Leader
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    November 14, 2005

    Dear Majority Leader Frist:

    Earlier this year, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) introduced the Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act to create a national video franchise, freeing providers from a labyrinth of over 30,000 franchising jurisdictions. The undersigned organizations strongly support a reform of the current franchise system such as that found in Senator Ensign’s legislation, and urge Congress to update the law to introduce competition into the video market.

    To put the current system in perspective, at a rate of one new franchise per day, it would take a
    new competitor more than eighty years to reach every municipality in America. Without
    reforming this system, consumers are not likely to see the benefits of competition in video
    services any time soon, as new competitors have reached agreements with just six local
    franchising authorities so far this year.

    Legislation is needed to create a national video franchise, thereby freeing video competitors of all
    stripes from the current system and removing the barriers to a truly free market. The resulting
    competition will provide video consumers with more choices at lower prices, all while offering
    them the cutting edge in video services technology. Freeing the video market from the current
    outdated and anti-competitive system will also result in billions in new investments as entrants
    seek to reach new customers.

    We agree with Senator Ensign’s approach because it confirms the principle that competitive
    market forces are far better guarantors of consumer benefits than government regulations. For
    this same reason, we hope franchise reform legislation will not include language that would lead
    to "net-neutrality" regulations. Consumers with choices in the marketplace would be a far better
    regulator of real net-neutrality than the government.

    Nearly a decade has passed since Congress addressed significant telecommunications reform, and
    in that time technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Therefore, it is essential that Congress
    act to provide a free market, deregulatory and competitive market in which new technologies will
    flourish. Therefore, we strongly support franchise reform, and view the Broadband
    Investment and Consumer Choice Act as a positive step toward this important goal.

    Sincerely,
    Grover Norquist David Keene
    Americans for Tax Reform American Conservative Union
    Fred Smith Paul Gessing
    Competitive Enterprise Institute National Taxpayers Union
    Tom Readmond Matt Kibbe
    Media Freedom Project Freedom Works
    Michelle Korsmo Geoffrey Segal
    Americans for Prosperity Reason Foundation
    Jim Martin Chuck Muth
    60 Plus Citizen Outreach
    Jason Wright Thomas Schatz
    Institute for Liberty Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
    Daniel Clifton Karen Kerrigan
    American Shareholders Association Small Business Entrepreneurship Council
    Barry M. Aarons
    Institute for Policy Innovation