Pennsylvania Franchise Bills Die

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Two bills that would have enabled statewide cable franchising in Pennsylvania are dead for this year.

Faced with an uphill battle to interest election-focused legislators on a complex cable reform bill, as well as loud opposition from municipal foes of the bill, the sponsors of two proposals have withdrawn them from consideration.

The Senate version, SB 1247, was carried by state senators Dominic Pileggi (R-9th district) and Anthony Williams (D-8th district). House Bill 2880 was co-sponsored by Reps. Raymond Bunt Jr. (R-147th district) and Joseph Preston Jr. (D-24th district).

The bills were similar, calling for statewide cable franchises to be doled out by the corporations bureau of the office of the Secretary of State.

The top state executive for the bill's biggest booster, Verizon Communications, said it’s disappointed that the bill failed to progress in the four months it has been on the desks of legislators. Verizon Pennsylvania president William Petersen said the telco will continue to obtain local franchises necessary to bring cable competition choice to the state’s residents.

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