Letter to the Editor

Video competition helps consumers

Saturday, July 15, 2006

To the editor:

The announcement that Charter Communications will soon offer telephone service in Cape Girardeau and other communities is another example of how competition and technology are changing the ways we communicate. This opportunity for competition in the telephone industry would not have been possible without good public policy adopted on the national level.

Congress clearly understands this situation. The U.S. House recently passed by an overwhelming majority legislation that will provide a national franchise solution which will speed investment and rollout of advanced video services. I remain cautiously optimistic the U.S. Senate will also approve the measure this year. Legislation that would encourage the introduction of new technology and give consumers more competitive choices when it comes to video is a step in the right direction.

If the Missouri General Assembly is called upon to address the cable-competition issue again in 2007, it would be a perfect opportunity for the Republican-led House and Senate to establish good public policy that would increase competition in the cable industry and deliver the benefits competition provides to consumers. Just as federal rules make it easy for cable to offer telephone services, it is only fair that telephone companies have the same, nonstringent rules for getting into cable as cable has for getting into the telephone business.

RAY BUHS, Cape Girardeau