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Ohio is considering reforming its outdated franchise laws, and a bill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
The report is available at: