Bill Will Hasten Choice, Competition for Pennsylvanians' Cable TV Services

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Sens. Dominic F. Pileggi (R-9th District) and Anthony H. Williams (D-8th District) today jointly introduced legislation that will update and streamline the state's existing cable franchising rules to accelerate the pace of meaningful cable television choice and competition for Pennsylvania consumers. The following statement should be attributed to William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania consumers have long deserved some real choice for their cable television service, and the Cable Choice and Competition Act will make that happen.

"We commend Senators Pileggi and Williams for introducing a bill that will give consumers the ability to select among competing cable providers - an effective, proven check on cable incumbents' ever-rising prices.

"The legislation properly recognizes that technology and competition have outpaced current cable franchising regulations. This bill encourages new competitors to invest in and provide cable TV alternatives for consumers, and it protects the legitimate interests of Pennsylvania's municipalities.

"The cable industry will fight change fiercely to protect its local monopoly territories, throwing out reams of false accusations and misinformation. But it cannot dispute the facts: Cable rates rise significantly in the absence of true competition - more than 86 percent since 1995. Where Verizon is competing with cable and giving consumers a choice, customers are seeing savings of 20 percent or more.

"Verizon looks forward to supporting this bill through the legislative process and bringing more choice and competition to Pennsylvania consumers."

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