Legislation to provide state-wide cable licenses was introduced in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Cable Choice and Competition bill, crafted to grease the skids for Verizon’s FiOS TV service, aims to streamline the process for cable operators to obtain local licenses by applying directly to the state instead of individual cities and towns.
If enacted, the law would establish a 15-day window for the state’s Department of Telecommunications and Energy to approve an application.
Legislators expect that competition will reduce service prices.
Ray Howell, spokesman for the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association, echoed cable opposition to similar legislation introduced and adopted in several other states already. “Verizon’s special-interest legislation is both unnecessary and inconsistent with the principal of local control,” he said.
“The (Federal Communications Commission) just recently issued a ruling that dramatically speeds the cable licensing process. In addition, with two satellite providers, an overbuilder and numerous municipal light companies offering video, Massachusetts is not lacking for competition,” Howell said.