Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a bill Tuesday that
would regulate cable-television rates.
Frank, elected in 1980, serves on the House Banking Committee and the
Financial Services Committee. His cable bill will likely be referred to the
House Energy and Commerce Committee, headed by Billy Tauzin (R-La.).
Congress reregulated cable rates in 1992. Four years later, the Federal
Communications Commission lost its authority to restrict expanded-basic rates,
although local governments retained authority to regulate basic rates.
Recent FCC cable-rate surveys have shown rates rising in the aggregate. But
on a per-channel basis, adjusted for inflation, cable rates have actually been
declining, according to FCC data for the 12-month period ending June 30,