State Franchising Bill Introduced in Harrisburg

As promised, State Senator Dominic Pileggi introduced Verizon's state franchising bill yesterday. The bill summary [pdf] says the bill includes the following provisions:

  • Current franchise agreements are grandfathered in.
  • A franchise fee of 5 percent goes to the municipality. The fee is applied only to cable service and can be listed on the bill.
  • The nondiscrimination clause says, "The franchise holder may not deny access to service to any group of potential residential subscribers because of the income of the residents in the local area in which such group resides." But the franchise provider determines the footprint.
  • The franchise provider has to provide the same number of PEG channels as currently exist in the municipality; where none exist, the new provider has to provide three channels to municipalities of more than 50,000 people and two channels to smaller municipalities.
  • The sole remedy is a court action from a city, county, or state attorney.

More analysis and activity soon…

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1 Comment

  1. […] If Comcast can get what it wants against the wishes of the people of Philadelphia at the city level and at the federal level, it raises serious questions about whether we should be supporting a state franchising bill. […]

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