Consumers for Cable Choice Expands

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Consumers for Cable Choice said Wednesday that 15 new groups have joined its effort to bring competition to the cable industry.

The group describes itself as a grassroots organization. It was incorporated in June in Indiana as a nonprofit domestic corporation supporting government reform of franchise policy and broadband-access rules.

But Consumers for Cable Choice’s seed money comes from the nation’s two largest telephone companies, Verizon Communications Inc. and SBC Communications Inc., both of which are beginning to compete with cable systems for pay TV subscribers.

The group is backing legislative changes sought by Verizon and other phone companies in states such as New Jersey and, soon, California.

The coalition said it now has 38 group members and a combined membership of nearly 700,000.

Its newest members are: American Agriculture Movement, American Corn Growers Association, California Farmers Union, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, League of Rural Voters, National Association of Farmer Elected Committees, National Farmers Organization, National Farmers Union, National Grange, National Hispanic Council on Aging, Rural Coalition/Coalicion Rural, Soybean Producers of America, Washington State Grange and Women Involved in Farm Economics.

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