Louise Thompson on why she hates "Consumer Choice Act of 2007"05/04/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Consumer Cable Bill
One controversial piece of legislation headed to Governor Charlie Crist’s desk is what is known as the Consumer Choice act of 2007, which has been championed in the House by Tampa GOP Representative Trey Treviesa.
One controversial aspect of the legislation regards whether giant phone companies –like Verizon and AT&T, which have been pushing for the bill – could neglect poor and low income communities when creating their fiber optic network for cable and broadband access.
Officials for Verizon, who is already offering such services in Tampa and other parts of the Tampa Bay area, have vociferously denied they would do any such thing, though critics say they have done so in other states.
Another part of the bill that some are crying foul over is what it might do to so called PEG channels – PEG standing for Public, Education, and Government access channels.
Louise Thompson is with the Tampa Bay Community Network. She says that the new legislation calls for PEG Channels being eliminated by the end of local current franchise agreements end, or 2012. (roll tape#1 o.q.”it puts us out there”)
Other issues that Thompson has are what other critics have about the bill – that those who have service complaints will not speak to representatives with their local city or county, but instead, to a state run beuracracy
Thompson says at this point, the only way to stop this bill is to have Governor Crist veto the bill (roll tape#2 o.q.”or to veto it”)
Many consumer groups have also been actively opposing the Cable bill throughout the legislative session, but it did not face much opposition at all in the legislature.