Burgess introduces cable competition bill to increase consumer choice

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) on June 25 proposed legislation that would prohibit franchising authorities from requiring approval for the sale of cable systems.

“In 2020, Americans should not be limited by franchise restrictions when choosing broadband services,” Rep. Burgess said. “This legislation will increase competition by getting rid of regulations that are not keeping up with how consumers access cable and Internet services.”

Rep. Burgess sponsored the Consumer Access to Broadband for Local Economies and Competition Act, also known as the CABLE Competition Act, H.R. 7336, which would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit a franchise authority from precluding cable operators from transferring a franchise, or requiring cable operators to receive approval from a franchise authority for the transfer of such franchise, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s office.

Additionally, H.R. 7336 would permit franchise authorities to require a cable operator transferring a franchise to notify the franchise authority within 15 days of the transfer, according to the bill summary.

“The expansion of telehealth and increased number of Americans working from home during this pandemic has revealed the necessity of being able to maintain reliable Internet services,” said Rep. Burgess. “I hope my fellow members will join me in quickly passing this vital legislation.”