Download this document in MS Word format
RESOLUTION AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

JOINT HOUSE RESOLUTION

State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution


J.R.H.  8

Joint resolution urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new regulations or, in the alternative, the United States Congress to enact a statutory directive, requiring the nation’s cable television companies to offer à la carte service for specialty channels not included in the broadcast tier of stations

Offered by:  Representative Obuchowski of Rockingham

Whereas, cable television subscribers always receive a broadcast tier of  channels, including local, commercial, and public television channels and at least one cable public access station, and

Whereas, beyond this basic or broadcast package, as it is often marketed, there are dozens of specialty channels available to cable television subscribers focusing on news, sports, the arts, and many other specialized areas of entertainment and information, and

Whereas, certain of these specialized channels, such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and ESPN, are among the most watched national cable television services, and

Whereas, although the technology now exists to enable cable television companies to customize the subscriber’s reception menu to receive only specific stations beyond the basic tier of broadcast and public access stations (à la carte service), this is not a current option for consumers, and

Whereas, for example, if ESPN is the only channel in the basic package which a sports fan wishes to receive, the viewer has no option but to pay for an entire set of stations, nearly all of which are never watched, and

Whereas, cable fees are rising at an accelerated pace, and the introduction of an à la carte option would lower consumers’ costs, and

Whereas, although cable television companies have long complained bitterly about the existing Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulations requiring them to carry local broadcast channels and the proposed regulations which would similarly require them to carry new digital channels, they have no difficulty imposing a comparable requirement on their own customers, and

Whereas, U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2005–2006 Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has urged the cable television industry “to find a consistent message for itself—if they want choices, provide the same choices to your customers,” and

Whereas, the first governmental source for enabling consumers to purchase à la carte cable television service is the FCC through the adoption of new regulations requiring the implementation of an à la carte option, and

Whereas, alternatively, the United States Congress could establish the à la carte option by statutory directive, and

Whereas, Vermont cable television consumers are paying excessively high prices for many channels which they have no interest in receiving in order to subscribe to one or two stations, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new regulations, or in the alternative, the United States Congress to enact a statutory directive, requiring the nation’s cable television companies to offer à la carte service for specialty channels not included in the broadcast tier of stations, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

 

    

 

____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House

 

____________________________              ____________________________

Brian E. Dubie                                             Donald G. Milne

President of the Senate                               Clerk, House of Representatives

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us