FreedomWorks Builds Case for Cable Franchise Reform in the Buckeye State

FreedomWorks report shows consumers harmed by outdated laws; study to be

distributed to Ohio Legislature.

Jun 08, 2007, 01:00 ET from FreedomWorks

    WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FreedomWorks is
 continuing the fight for choice in video services for Ohio consumers with
 the release of a new study by Diane Katz that examines the benefits of
 franchise reform. Assessing the Case for Cable Franchise Reform is being
 distributed to the Ohio General Assembly and made available to the public.
     The report found that the lack of competition has resulted in cable
 rate increases that have dwarfed inflation. Between 1999 and 2007, for
 example, the cost of cable service in Canton jumped 41 percent, and Findlay
 saw cable rates soar by 67 percent.
     Ohio currently has over one thousand municipal franchising authorities.
 This creates an insurmountable barrier to market entry for potential video
 service providers, effectively leaving consumers without a choice.
     Katz found that easing competitors' entry into local markets would save
 consumers millions of dollars annually, create thousands of new jobs and
 expand the availability of broadband services. More competition in phone,
 cable, and internet service providers would also directly benefit consumers
 by allowing for more choices among a wider range of services at competitive
 prices, according to the report.
     Ohio is considering reforming its outdated franchise laws, and a bill
 (SB 117) is pending in the House. This legislation has overwhelmingly
 passed in the state senate.
     The bill would streamline franchising requirements by creating a
 uniform statewide franchise. In so doing, SB 117 would encourage investment
 in Ohio's broadband network, which would help to put the state at the
 forefront of telecommunications innovation. More than a dozen states,
 including Michigan and Indiana, already have passed similar reforms.
     FreedomWorks Chairman and former Majority Leader Dick Armey commented:
     "Cable choice puts consumer interests ahead of bureaucratic interests
 by letting the individual chose what services and products they want. Cable
 choice has tremendous long term benefit for Ohio's economy as well. As the
 state transitions from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy, Ohio
 will need a world class telecom infrastructure. Cable choice will attract
 the investments necessary to upgrade the telecom backbone in both urban and
 rural communities."
     The report is available at:

SOURCE FreedomWorks