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Press Release

FreedomWorks Supports Sen. Ensign Telecom Reform Bill

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outdated and anti-competitive system will also result in billions in new investments as entrants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.

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