House Seeks to Open Cable TV Market

By JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Legislation to open cable TV markets to more competition, possibly saving consumers hundreds of dollars a year, passed the House Thursday.

The biggest telecommunications legislation in a decade, approved

321-101, would make it easier for telephone companies to enter the subscription television market. A national franchise process would replace the current system where potential providers must negotiate contracts municipality by municipality, sometimes taking months and years.

The vote came shortly after the House rejected a Democratic-backed amendment aimed at better protecting Internet users from pricing or access discrimination that Internet providers might apply. The issue of "net neutrality" dominated debate on the bill.


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Monty Solomon
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