FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2006
Contact: Jeffrey Mazzella
703.535.5836Center for Individual Freedom Urges Senate to Enact Cable Franchise Reform
ALEXANDRIA VA As the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation begins hearings today on video franchising, the Center for Individual Freedom called for swift reform of video franchise regulations that have stifled competition in the marketplace.
"The current regulatory regime has enabled cable companies to become virtual monopolies, denying millions of consumers choice in the marketplace," said Jeffrey Mazzella, CFIF President. "The result has been increased prices and the suppressed access to new and innovative technologies for consumers. It is time to open the video services market to more competition.
"Technology is ever evolving," said Mazzella. "Yesterday's copper land lines and cable systems are old technology. With the ever growing capacity of the Internet and how it's used in every aspect of our lives today, current regulations have become counterproductive. Why use old regulatory systems for new technology?"
The current system makes new competitors move armies of attorneys around the country to negotiate with individual city councils and town boards before they can build networks. Today, video service is a national industry and a national franchising system is needed.
"I commend Senator Stevens and his colleagues on the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee for leading the way in addressing an outdated, anti-competitive system," Mazzella said. "Reforming the system to empower consumers, lower costs and to force competition into a market now dominated by virtual monopolies is good for America," concluded Mazzella.
The Center for Individual Freedom (www.cfif.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit constitutional and free-market advocacy organization. CFIF opposes over-burdensome state and federal regulations and taxing regimes that impede the evolution of the Internet and e-commerce.
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