NEWARK, N.J. --The New Jersey State Assembly today approved ACS-804. 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. The state Senate passed the bill last week. The following statement can be attributed to Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.
"Today's state Assembly vote is another big step in the right direction. Consumers are now that much closer to seeing the true benefits of competition: more choices, competitive prices and improved cable television services. We applaud the state Assembly for taking this bold step towards opening the state's cable TV market to true choice and competition.
"This legislation will pave the way toward streamlining the state's 34-year-old cable franchise laws --- laws that are out of date with technology, out of touch with consumer demands, and serve only to delay choice and competition.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 bill's sponsors -- Assembly members Upendra Chivukula, Thomas Giblin, Joseph Malone, Jeff Van Drew, Joseph Vas and especially Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo -- who have been leaders in trying to bring rapid competition to communities and deliver significant benefits to the marketplace, municipalities, and the state.
"We're hopeful that Gov. Corzine agrees with the overwhelming majority of the state Legislature that cable competition is truly needed and that this legislation will finally open the New Jersey market to Verizon and, potentially, many additional service providers."