Friday, October 24, 2003
Wisconsin bill would make barriers for muni telecom
The Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times reports:
". . . Rep. Phil Montgomery, R-Ashwaubenon, and Sen. Ted Kanavas, R-Brookfield, are sponsoring a bill that would prohibit a city, village, town or county that owns and operates a cable television system from requiring nonsubscribers (taxpayers) to pay any of the costs of the system. The prohibition also would apply to any entity owned, operated or controlled, in whole or part, by a local government. However, a local government could require nonsubscribers to pay costs for public, educational and government access channels, as well as the cost of debt service on public improvement bonds for construction, renovation or expansion of a cable TV system.
In a memo to legislators seeking co-sponsorship of the bill, Montgomery said it would 'maintain competitive fairness when local governments compete with private sector telephone or cable companies.'
'We want to prohibit a city or village or town that is running a cable TV system or wants to provide some sort of broadband service from using their local property tax base as a tool for creating an uncompetitive situation,' Kanavas added in an interview. "
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