May 24 2007
07:25 am

Sponsors of the AT&T statewide cable franchise bill say they will withdraw the bill for this year. They didn't feel they would have they votes and they are disappointed by the lack of support from local governments. It will likely be back for the 2008 session.

Knoxville News Sentinel (AP)

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Nashville City Paper

I'm surprised. I thought it was a done deal. One article speculates, though, that all the amendments neutered AT&T's advantage, so they wanted it pulled. It looks like Frank Cagle was right. This is the bill that keeps on giving - to lobbyists.

CE Petro's picture

Surprised Also

I'm surprised as well. It's this quote from the KNS article, that caught me:
"But I think the reality was, I think, that AT&T had something embedded in this legislation that would have given them an unfair advantage. When I did the rewrite, I think they lost that."
I disagree that both sides "got what they wanted" with this withdrawal, AT&T surely didn't get what they wanted -- but, I'm glad for that. But, what the hell was embedded that was so important?

At this point, those against this bill cannot sit back on their laurels and just wait until the next session to see if this will re-emerge. During this time, education of more people on how destructive the bill would actually be, especially at the local level, is imperative. The way I read the possibility of a return, in the KNS article, is 'if there is a change in opinion.' Thus getting more people to understand how local governments would lose if they support this bill, is key to getting it killed all together, IMHO.

Andy Axel's picture

Rep. Charles Curtiss

Rep. Charles Curtiss (D-Sparta), another House sponsor, said he was unhappy with the fact that the legislation would be delayed.

“I’m not happy,” Curtiss said. “But it was a calculated risk. I knew we were running a gamble. The deck was stacked against the proposition the whole time. But it would’ve really been good for the citizens of this state had we gotten competition this year. It’s a pretty big let down for me.”


OK, now that's weird.

Curtiss can't be serious. He's shilling for a plan which he wouldn't be able to sell in his own home district. Sparta isn't even served by AT&T/BellSouth for local service. Ben Lomand is the provider out there.

So how do the constituents of Sparta "benefit" from increased competition in the cable market? If this bill were to pass, the residents of Sparta effectively get the same choice that they had before the bill was introduced.


Am I the only solipsist here?

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