The COPE Act (HR 5252), the House bill that will provide for a national franchise and unleash competition for cable across the country is expected to have a full vote of the House of Representatives next week. The House Judiciary committee is making moves to consider portions of the bill under its committee jurisdiction which would further delay the benefits of cable competition to consumers (think the consumer savings clock on the C4CC homepage – delay of HR 5252 makes the clock run higher).
In the Senate, Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens unveiled his bill that would ease the restrictions on new cable providers by reforming the outdated franchise laws. The Chairman has set an ambitious schedule for his bill with two hearings in May and a markup of the bill June 8. This is very encouraging because time for consideration of the Senate and House bills is dwindling. Consumers ultimately pay the price for delay. C4CC will keep you posted as the legislative process moves forward. Find out what is going on in the states here.