Viacom Inc. president Frank Biondi yesterday criticized the new cable TV law and called for a debate on U.S. telecommunications policy.

Biondi, speaking at Broadcasting magazine’s Interface conference, said the cable reregulation law will eventually be seen “for what it really is: the luxury tax bill of 1993.” He predicted that cable subscribers will pay higher rates resulting from the “litany of requirements placed on cable to protect or advance various special interests.”

Biondi’s comments are typical of cable industry reaction to enactment of the legislation. In calling for a national debate, Biondi said, “Specialized legislation on domestic communications issues cannot be made to substitute for a global telecommunications policy.”

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