Two committed cable tv industry bashers – Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) – are planning to offer cable “reregulation” legislation Jan. 23. The lawmakers said the measure will be tougher than legislation that died last year. Bill is expected to exempt a local cable system from rate regulation only if a competing multi-channel operator has a 30% penetration rate in homes within the community as well as allow rate reg of both the basic tier of cable service and premium channels.
The measure is being dismissed as “too regulatory” by D.C. insiders and stands little chance of passing. Less onerous legislation is expected to be offered by more influential solons – such as Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) – soon.