Monday, July 18, 2005

SBC wins big in state House Business: "The Texas House of Representatives voted 135-6 Sunday to pass a controversial bill that would make it easier for the state's biggest phone companies to offer pay television service.

Supporters of the measure — which the Senate approved with minor differences Wednesday — said it would create jobs and investment by letting SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. each negotiate a single franchise with the state to offer video.

Under current rules, the companies must negotiate agreements with each city they plan to serve — just as their cable competitors did. But San Antonio-based SBC and New York-based Verizon have argued that reaching individual agreements would slow their rollouts.

'(With passage of the bill), we're going to see competition increase year after year,' said Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, who championed the measure. 'It will be kind of like what happened with local service and long distance.'"


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