Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Texas Governor Signs Cable Franchise Bill

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today signed into law a cable-franchising bill passed by the Texas Legislature during its second 30-day special session. The bill vastly streamlines the process of getting cable franchises for telecommunications carriers.

SBC and Verizon applauded the legislation. Verizon said it expects to begin offering cable TV service in Texas this fall over its FiOS network.

  • In August, the Texas House voted 144-to-1 to pass a bill that updates regulation of telecommunications in the state and allows for a single statewide franchise provision for companies entering the cable television business. The bill, Senate Bill 5, was passed by the Texas Senate earlier this week and now awaits final approval by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    The state-issued video franchise will not require mandatory build outs and will keep existing municipal cable franchise agreements in place until they expire.

    In addition to providing for a single state franchise for cable TV services, the legislation covers a number of other areas, including broadband over powerline (BPL) services, telecom wholesale services, the deregulation of certain ILEC markets, and oversight of consumer cable TV service complaints.

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