Friday, May 25, 2007

Telecoms Want to Change "Outdated" Laws

I saw a web-ad today for the Massachusetts Consumers for Technology and Cable Choice, a nonprofit set up by Verizon and rest of the telecom industry to shill for their "Massachusetts Cable Choice and Competition Act", a bill that would take cable permitting power away from cities and towns and hand it to the state. The ad asks:

How come 21st century Massachusetts is stuck with cable tv franchise laws from the 1970s?
That's a good question. Also a good question is: why is Massachusetts stuck with telecommunications property tax exemptions from 1915? If old regulations for new technologies are bad just because they're old, then let's get rid of that outdated exemption. For some reason, I'm not so sure that Verizon would agree.

I'm neutral on the Cable bill -- I'm lucky enough to live someplace where I can choose between two Cable companies. I've said it before, though, if they want this expedited permitting so bad, let's see if they'll give up their exemption for it. They're taking the power to regulate cable away from cities and towns, the least they can do is start paying their property taxes.