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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Online Videos Can Be In-depth, Professional, and Visually Sophisticated | Main | Ron Paul: The New Charles Lindbergh? »

November 07, 2007


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from your mouth to God's ear!


There is no elected person representing the people, in any branch. Appreciate your outspoken style...while I don't agree with you on everything...I do on this.

John Q.

I was just reminded today of another reason why everything AT&T has told Wisconsin lawmakers about why they NEED state franchising in order to compete is rubbish:

In March of this year, the FCC released a "report and order" about local cable franchising. They granted new competitive cable operators the right to obtain a local franchise as soon as 90 days after the date of the request.

They also re-stated what municipalities have known since 1996 - that according to Section 541(a)(1) of the Telecommunications act, a local franchising authority may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise.

Local franchising authorities have also known that they can not require more or less from a new entry than they do from an incumbent operator.

The FCC order in March also stated that local franchising authorities must allow the new system a reasonable period of time to become capable of providing service to all households in the franchise area.

More information about the first and second orders from the FCC issues this year can be found at

With all of these federal protections in place, why is it that AT&T is pushing so hard for new state legislation? If they would have applied for franchises in all Wisconsin cities back in March, they would - by law - have them by now. 180 days have long since passed.

The answer is simple - they do not want to have to serve all households in any given area - EVER. No amount of time is reasonable to them to build out to everyone because they don't ever want to build out to everyone. They want to pick and chose which people should have access to their services and which ones shouldn't.

They don't want to support Wisconsin communities by passing Public, Education, and Government Access TV Support fees (averaging only 55 cents per month) on to their subscribers, not even when that support can only be used for equipment as the FCC allows.

They don't want to have to meet any customer service standards that are more strict than federal standards.

Let's face it, they don't want to serve Wisconsin Communities at all. They just want our money, and they want to tell US how to let THEM use OUR rights of way to make that money.

Illinois didn't let them get away with that nonsense. I hope Wisconsin won't, either.

What a twisted set of priorities. Shelve this until:
a. School aid formula is redone
b. Health insurance issue is addressed
c. The state figures out how to create an economy in which the overwhelming majority of jobs are good: at least 34 grand in salary, decent health insurance and an employer provided pension

Harry Thibedeau

Bravo to the Senate for passing the video competition bill...and here is to hoping that it becomes law fast!!

This legislation will remove many of the barriers limiting competition in Wisconsin. For far too long, the cable industry has enjoyed a "sweetheart" relationship with local units of government. The time has long since passed when they should face real competition...and we the consumers will benefit from great choice and lower prices. Only when aggressive competitors enter the market will the cable guys react by lowering prices and adding more programming options.

One need only look at the impact DBS had on cable. It forced them to go digital fast...after years "asleep at the switch" and it accelerated the deployment of new technologies such as cable-based broadband and telephone services as they raced to get a "triple-play" option to fend off the satellite competition.

Now, the cable industry will face MAJOR competition from the telcos...the gloves will be off. Want to bet how fast cable giants like Time Warner and Charter come to their senses when a telco competitor begins offering the Big Ten Network? Or when that same telco rolls out a broad offering of HD channels as opposed to the pitiful amount offered by most cable systems?

The WI consumer should be cheering loud and long...the Senate has opened the door wide for video competition...and EVERYONE...including those who choose to remain with cable...will be the winners.

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