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Perry Signs Telecommunications Reform Bill

Location: Austin, TX

Perry Signs Telecommunications Reform Bill

Senate Bill 5 Will Lead to More Competition, Create Jobs and Remove Barriers to Technology Investment

Gov. Rick Perry today signed Senate Bill 5, major telecommunications reform legislation that will usher in new technology investments and create greater competition for video, cable and telecommunications services.

"I'm proud Texas is taking the national lead in bringing choice to cable customers, offering broadband over power lines, and investing in new telecommunications innovations," Perry said. "Senate Bill 5 will pave the way for new technology investments, create jobs and remove barriers to 21st century innovations."

Perry commended the author of the bill, Sen. Troy Fraser, and House Sponsor, Rep. Phil King, for their leadership in passing telecommunications reforms during the second called session.

Senate Bill 5 ensures Texas will become the first state in nation to encourage competition in the local cable market by allowing new entrants to obtain a state-issued, statewide cable and video franchise instead of requiring franchises from individual municipalities. The legislation means Texas will also be the first state to offer broadband over power lines. The legislation also modernizes telecommunications laws as the governor called for in his state of the state address, paving the way for innovations such as cable and voice over internet protocol. The bill also requires the Public Utility Commission to conduct a study of the Universal Service Fund, the fund that subsidizes service to rural areas of the state.

"The winners will be Texas consumers who will get more choices in their cable television service, and access to new innovations in telecommunications," Perry said.

"This bill creates a fair and balanced approach to creating additional competition in all aspects of the communications industry," Fraser said. "This is a huge step forward for the Texas consumer."

King added: "This legislation will ensure that Texas is at the forefront of the telecommunications industry, bringing thousands of new jobs and billions of economic investment to our state."
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