Down to the Wire

Just when you thought it couldn’t be put off any longer it turns out that we’ll have to wait a bit longer to hear whether or not Governor Blanco will veto the state-wide video franchise law. According to the Advertiser:

Although the constitutional deadline was midnight, the governor has an additional 24 hours to notify the clerk of the House.

“We will make the announcements Wednesday,” Roderick Hawkins, Blanco’s deputy press secretary, said Tuesday…

Blanco and her staff were trying to sort out worthy projects from the frivolous, a sometimes difficult task as the added projects had no explanatory language accompanying them.

Also backed up against the deadline was the bill that would make it easier for telephone companies to offer television services in competition with cable companies, House Bill 699 by Rep. Billy Montgomery, D-Haughton.

The Advertiser misses the real issues, of course. It’s pretty clear that the sort of competition that sold the bill to the legislature–the promise of lower prices–is not something that AT&T has any intention of following through on. When talking to investors and banks rather than legislators they are clear on the fact that they have no intention to get into “a price war.” And we hear similar comments from the cablecos. It’s a classic duopoly situation. No, the real reason for this bill is, as we have insisted here from the begining, to allow AT&T/BellSouth to cherry-pick only the most profitable (read: wealthy) areas to serve. Only local governments, with their stubborn insistence that if the corporations wanted to use commonly owned property for their private profit they’d have to serve all the owner, stood in their way. What this bill changes, and very little else when it comes down to it, is to cut local governments out of the equasion.

And to make red-lining state policy in telecommunications.

Legitimating BellSouth/AT&T’s bad business practices is not a worthy purpose for state legislation and the bill should be vetoed on that ground alone.

6 thoughts on “Down to the Wire”

  1. Anon,

    I hope your right!

    Can you point us to a reference?

    Neither the official Blanco announceme ts page nor the bill tracking record on the legislature shows a change as of yet.

    Hope springs eternal. 🙂

  2. It’s interesting that The Govenor vetoed the cable bill and Cable rates increase the next day.

    Cox to boost basic cable fee by $3.34

    Advocate business writer
    Published: Jul 12, 2006

    Blaming the rising cost of fuel and the expense of rebuilding in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Cox Communications said late Tuesday that prices for its expanded-basic cable TV will increase by $3.34 to $46.99 for its Baton Rouge and Acadiana markets beginning Aug. 15.

    In addition, Cox will raise prices $2 across the board for its high-speed Internet service.

    Cox spokeswoman Sharon Kleinpeter said although some digital cable customers could be affected depending on their specific packages and services, the increase will have the biggest effect on subscribers of expanded basic, or channels 2 through 73.

    Cox has about 304,000 subscribers in its “greater Louisiana” market, which comprises all or parts of seven parishes in the Baton Rouge area and parts or all of six in the Acadiana region.

    The company last raised its rates in the Baton Rouge market in August 2005. The last increase for the Acadiana market was 2004.

    In prepared comments, Cox Vice President and Regional Manager Jacqui Vines acknowledged “that no one likes a price increase, but rising programming costs, increasing fuel expenses and operating overhead associated with our rebuilding efforts directly impact retail cable pricing.”

    While prices are going up next month, “we’re also focused on improving our infrastructure” to launch new products and services, Vines said.

    The high winds and flooding from the devastating hurricanes last year damaged all of Cox’s infrastructure, Kleinpeter said.

    In addition to reinstalling service lines, the extensive power outages from the storms also racked up expenses, she said.

    “There is also a lot of other costs associated with the storms, things like higher insurance rates, what everybody is feeling right now,” Kleinpeter said.

    Despite the increases, Cox customers can still save when buying the company’s cable, Internet and telephone services together. In most cases, subscribers save $10 a month when getting “bundled” services, she said.

    “If they work with our customer service representatives, they can find a way to save money,” Kleinpeter said.

    “They do have a lot of choices in packaging. Hopefully, we can find one that fits into our customers’ budgets.”

    Anthony Moussaid

  3. If you are trying to say that Karmen had anything to do with this Veto you are a low life. Karmen represents herself and Cox Communications and she does it well without using her Mom’s power for handouts. She had nothing to do with this.

  4. Anthony,

    No more posting of full articles in the comments, ok? (The idea of comments is to comment not to quote.)