NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey State Senate today approved the Cable Choice Act (ACS-804/SCS-192). The bill authorizes a competitive systemwide franchise for certain providers of cable television services. As such, the bill would streamline New Jersey's 34-year-old video franchise laws and allow new entrants to compete with cable television companies. Identical legislation was approved by the New Jersey State Assembly on May 22.
The following statement should be attributed to Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.
"The bill passed by the New Jersey Senate today, when signed by Gov. Jon Corzine, gives New Jersey the true benefits of competition for subscription TV service: more choices, competitive prices and improved cable television services.
"This legislation brings long-needed updates to the state's 34-year-old cable franchise laws --- laws that are out of date with technology, out of touch with consumer demands, and serve only to delay choice and competition. New Jersey is poised to join a growing list of states that are steamrolling antiquated video franchise laws in favor of rules that promote competition, increase investment and benefit consumers.
"We commend the state Senate and especially Sens. Joe Doria and Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo and all legislative leaders and supporters who have moved to bring rapid competition to communities and deliver significant benefits to the marketplace, municipalities and the state.
"We're optimistic Gov. Corzine will agree with the overwhelming majority of the state Legislature that cable competition is needed now and that this legislation will finally open the New Jersey market to Verizon and, potentially, to many additional service providers."
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.