Wednesday, April 25, 2007

S.B. 117 to Be Rewired

First thing this morning I saw Jill's post celebrating an item on Openers saying that the Senate committee considering a state cable franchising bill is promising to rewrite some portions. I wasn't going to pop the cork until hearing from Bill.

Bill is underwhelmed, and listening to he and others talk about the issue on 90.3 this morning, it's easy understand why. The AT&T rep claims that the bill as proposed has perfectly fine and generous provisions regarding build-out and coverage. One of the cheif concerns about the bill is that it can be read to eliminate the current restrictions against red-lining. Nothing in the Openers piece indicates that those provisions are under discussion for rewrite.

Finally if you are wondering just how an identical law has been proposed in over twenty states, you can thank ALEC. No, not the host of Jeopardy, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a pro-corporate conservative advocacy group that, among other things, writes model legislation and takes a hand in pushing it, especially to ALEC members -- conservative state legislators. The organization are funded by a mix of right-wing foundations and corporations.

ALEC's Cable and Video Competition Act was the model for the Michigan law, which according to Bill is pretty much what Ohio is now considering. Learn more about ALEC from Common Cause and PFAW.