Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank our chairman for the good work on the bill, and I want to encourage my colleagues to support this legislation tonight.

My colleague, Representative Wynn, and I began working on the effort to streamline this Nation's franchising rules more than a year ago when we introduced the Video Choice Act. It has been a pleasure to work with him on the issue.

We knew that government regulations were keeping prices high for American consumers; and when I spoke earlier today during debate on the rule, I talked a bit about how competition helps lower prices. I have a chart here to help make that point. This data demonstrates consumer price changes over the past 7 years. Here is the Consumer Price Index. Now take a look at what has happened with cable prices over the past 7 years and how they have soared. This blue line right here is our long distance prices, and then our wireless prices are the green line. So you can see how dramatically our video or cable pricing has outpaced the Consumer Price Index.

Mr. Chairman, the COPE bill will bring competition. It will help lower prices. It will help all entrants, including the little guys, like Ben Lomand Telephone Cooperative in McMinnville, Tennessee.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Markey amendment.

This afternoon I went to the computer and I pulled up Google and then I pulled up Yahoo and in my search engines I put ``network neutrality.'' Interesting what I found.

Well, I found article after article that I certainly believe has their facts wrong, because network neutrality is a term that people can't agree on. Everybody has got a different definition.

Now, while that bothered me, Mr. Chairman, I believe that it is important that we do a couple of things. One of those is I don't think the government ought to tell Google and Yahoo how to rank or present their information. That is not a road that we want to go down. But that is what the Markey amendment would do. It would force companies that build and maintain the networks where the data flows to present and categorize data in packets according to a government standard. Once we have done that, Mr. Chairman, the next thing is going to be having a Secretary of Internet access. I don't believe that is somewhere we want to go.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise to engage Chairman Barton in a colloquy.

I would like to pose a question concerning the interplay of the National franchise and the anti-redlining provisions of the bill, particularly as they apply to some of the rural telephone companies that are interested in providing the video competition afforded under the bill.

The committee report language concerning redlining that appears on page 23 provides, and I quote, ``A national franchisee is in violation of the provision if it is offering service to parts of a franchised area identified in its certificate but not to another part of the franchised area because of the income of the area.''

Pursuant to that language, Mr. Chairman, would a telephone company that is not providing video service to a part of a franchise area be in compliance with the Act if the reason for not providing video service is that the provider lacks the facilities to make service available in the area? In other words, if the existing footprint of the phone company does not encompass that portion of the cable franchised area, then the provider's decision is not a case of redlining, because the lack of service is not based on the income of the group but rather the lack the facilities by which to provide the service.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Texas


Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Back to top