FTTH Council endorses franchising, muni broadband legislation

February 28, 2006 Washington, DC -- The FTTH Council announced that it has endorsed two pieces of legislation which form the basis of a compromise agreement in the current debate between telecommunications companies and municipalities.

February 28, 2006 Washington, DC -- The FTTH Council announced that it has endorsed two pieces of legislation which form the basis of a compromise agreement in the current debate between telecommunications companies and municipalities.

Prior to an address today by U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the organization announced its support for legislation introduced by Rep. Blackburn and Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD) aimed at streamlining local cable TV franchising rules, as well as companion legislation introduced by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV).

The FTTH Council also endorsed a measure introduced by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and John McCain (R-AZ) allowing municipalities to provide broadband services without interference from state legislatures.

"This is the grand compromise," remarks FTTH Council president Joe Savage. "Deployment of our national information infrastructure is being delayed by infighting between public and private sectors. Anyone who wants to build a next-generation broadband network should be allowed to do so with as few restrictions as possible."

The council's Government Relations Committee chairman Mike Hill emphasized the importance of next-generation FTTH broadband networks. "We are now seeing video-based applications that greatly increase capacity requirements," says Hill. "Communities are going to need the bandwidth that comes from fiber, and nobody should stand in the way of that."

According to a press release, the FTTH Council will hear from Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) on Wednesday, March 1. The council calls Boucher "a proponent of broadband as a means of improving economic growth in rural areas , and a supporter of municipally-owned networks in his district."

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