Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Committee Takes Action to Improve Telecom Bill

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Committee Takes Action to Improve Telecom Bill

Article excerpt

A significantly improved version of the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Development Act (S.2686) was being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as Nation's Cities Weekly went to press. In addition to revisions made by Committee Chair Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the committee was expected to consider over 200 other amendments to the legislation.

While the new bill is not ideal from a local government perspective, a number of serious flaws in earlier drafts have been corrected. The revised version Stevens introduced clarifies the timeframe for action by local governments on new video franchises; preserves local government control and authority to manage their rights-of-ways; ensures that the courts, rather than the Federal Communications Commission, have jurisdiction over rights-of-way disputes; and requires that each party in rights-of-way disputes covers its own attorney's fees.

"We appreciate the efforts of the committee staff on both sides of the aisle for working so diligently with the local groups to craft legislation that maintains an appropriate local role in video franchising," NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut said. "The bill is a step in the right direction, but there are still major areas that we need to work on to protect local interests and ensure service for all."

Of particular concern is the absence of "build-out" language to ensure broad access to video services. An amendment to be offered by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.