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Eliminate Video Franchising

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Hance Haney
(202) 558-7083

Cable Franchise Process Should Be Eliminated –
Franchising Harms Consumers and U.S. Competitiveness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Discovery Institute’s Technology & Democracy Project has urged the Federal Communications Commission to reform local regulation of cable services, which imposes unnecessary costs and delays on both incumbent cable operators and new entrants.

“The U.S. lags behind several other industrialized nations in the deployment of broadband networks,” according to Senior Fellow Hance Haney. “The gap is increasing. This is a competitiveness issue and a consumer issue.”

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Discovery Institute’s Technology & Democray Project urged the following specific actions:

  • Establish maximum timeframes for video franchise approvals.
  • Count the value of in-kind contributions toward the 5 percent cap on gross revenues.
  • Avoid build-out requirements, which are not suitable for competitive markets.
  • The Commission’s ultimate objective ought to be to forbear from enforcing the requirement for any competitor to obtain a franchise.

“Streamlining and ultimately eliminating the franchise process entirely are the most important steps the Commission can take to jump start broadband deployment,” according to Haney.

View the comments.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.