Support Congress bills to reform cable TV

From: Edward T. Weitzel

Ellicott City


I am certain we are all aware of the energetic campaign being waged by the cable television companies, such as Howard Cable (Storer Cable TV) urging us to call and/or write to our congressional representatives and senators to have them vote against the "cable TV bill."

Now, does anybody really believe that the cable TV companies are doing all this for our benefit -- you and me?


Does anybody really believe that the cable TV companies want to defeat a bill that will, as they maintain, permit them to raise their rates? No way!

Statements made by the cable TV companies notwithstanding, House Bill H.R. 4850 would regulate the rate of basic cable service in those areas, such as eastern Howard County, where there is no competition, as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In addition, the bill also contains provisions which would set the channel position for broadcast signals, establish minimum customer standards and allow the FCC to act against cable operators who charge unreasonable rates for higher tiers of cable services, such as HBO, Cinemax, Home Team Sports, etc.

Also approved by the House of Representatives is an amendment to ensure access to programming in rural areas by preventing video programmers from engaging in deceptive practices . . . when offering programs to cable competitors, such as satellite dishes and wireless cable services.

I would urge everyone reading this to write or call Barbara Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes and Beverly Byron and urge them strongly to vote for H.R. 4850 and S.12.