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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution

J.R.H.  11

Joint resolution in strong opposition to consumer cable rate increases 

Offered by:  Representative Obuchowski of Rockingham

Whereas, in January 2006, Governor James Douglas entitled his annual state of the state address to the General Assembly “Making Vermont Affordable for Vermonters,” and

Whereas, in his address, he stated that “high energy costs” and other factors have resulted in “a challenging economic environment [that] all conspire to drive our young people to seek a more affordable life elsewhere,” and

Whereas, the governor continued that “Vermont has the 6th highest cost of living in the nation, despite no major metropolitan areas” within the state’s boundaries, and

Whereas, the governor stated that Vermont is “becoming financially out of reach for middle and low-income residents, many of whom are native Vermonters whose families go back generations,” and

Whereas, in his address, the governor cited the need for economical and reliable sources of energy, and

Whereas, the governor concluded his remarks that January day by stating “let us advance an agenda of affordability for all Vermonters so that this generation and all those that follow may enjoy the blessings of our magnificent state and the promise of Vermont,” and

Whereas, while not the central focus of the governor’s 2007 budget address, the affordability theme was a constant backdrop in his presentation, and

Whereas, the governor’s astute observation that affordability is a central theme in the lives of Vermonters should be applied in all sectors of the state’s economy, and

Whereas, the Comcast Corporation recently assumed control of the  Adelphia cable television system in Vermont that includes approximately 100,000 subscribers, and

Whereas, Comcast has announced a series of consumer cable television rate increases that take effect on February 1, 2007 which include a 1.4-percent rate increase for the basic 20-channel package and a more significant 3.5-percent increase from $52.45 to $54.25 for the standard 70-channel package that a large number of subscribers purchase, and

Whereas, although cable television companies are not obligated legally to seek state regulatory approval of cable television rate increases, this 3.5‑percent increase runs contrary to the governor’s theme of economic affordability, and

Whereas, unlike its predecessor Adelphia, Comcast is charging consumers $1.99 to change their channel package subscription even when an onsite technician’s visit is not required, and

Whereas, good corporate citizenship entails dealing fairly with consumers, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly expresses its strong opposition to Comcast Corporation’s 3.5-percent rate increase for standard cable service that is not in the spirit of the governor’s call for economic affordability in Vermont, and urges Comcast to act more equitably in its assessment of charges to consumers, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Joseph Waz, Vice President, External Affairs and Public Policy Counsel, at Comcast Corporation in Philadelphia.




____________________________              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