Consumer Choice Repair Bill is a threat to video competition

    The so-called "Cable Consumer Repair Bill," introduced Tuesday by State Rep. Gary Hebl, would gut the successful Video Competition Act that was enacted in January of 2008.
    It;s been less than two years since the Wisconsin State Legislature passed the Video Competition Act, which threw open the doors of cable competition across Wisconsin.
    While the benefits of increased competition don’t happen overnight, we’ve already seen definitive progress on opening up the cable marketplace. This bill has already generated real competition, helped improve prices, created hundreds of new jobs, spurred millions in investment in infrastructure, improved customer service and expanded consumers¹ access to new video providers, services and features all across the state.
    By trying to overhaul the system now, this new bill will turn back the clock and return Wisconsin to the days of rapidly increasing prices, less competition, fewer options and a disjointed marketplace.
    This new bill goes further than just re-fighting old legislative battles; it imposes new hidden taxes on every cable customer, grows state government, creates additional barriers for new companies to enter the marketplace and imposes new, unneeded penalties that could reduce consumer choice. In addition, it would discourage future investment at a time when the State Legislature needs to be working to deploy new capital in the state, negatively impacting job growth.
    Now is not the time for an anti-consumer bill that caters to a narrow set of special interests. We need to allow the current legislation to continue to do its job.
    Wired Wisconsin is a non-profit coalition of concerned individuals, businesses and organizations who are working to put our state on the cutting edge of technology. For more information, visit www.wiredwisconsin.org.
     
    Thad Nation is executive director of Wired Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization advocating for increased video competition in Wisconsin.

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