Video Cable Service Franchise Bill Dies on Close Vote in Idaho State Affairs Committee

HB159 which would have implemented a statewide cable television franchise law, as opposed to the current local franchise system failed on a 10-9 vote in the House State Affairs Committee this morning. Evidence was not convincing that new entrants were unable to access markets. There was evidence that statewide franchising has actually led to loss of public service channels and has not appreciably increased competition in states having adopted statewide franchising. Public support for the change was noticeably absent, except for large business interests seeking to avoid local negotiations. I joined in rejecting the measure feeling that we don’t need another top-down state regulation bureaucracy for matters that are adequately handled at the local level.

                                         

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