TCTA launches public campaign to oppose video franchise changes

As part of an effort by the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association (TCTA) to fight against a move it anticipates from BellSouth/AT&T to streamline the process of granting video and cable franchises in the state, the association is going to the people.

Last week, TCTA launched a Web site to inform the public about a legislative effort the organization believes will strip local governments of approval and oversight of cable and video franchising.

According to the association, the existing franchising process protects consumers by prohibiting new entrants from cherry-picking affluent neighborhoods and bypassing poorer and rural areas where the financial rewards of offering new services would be less certain.

"Competition is good for consumers and the marketplace," said Stacey Briggs, TCTA executive director. "But all telecommunications companies should play by the same rules with like services treated alike."

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