Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ohio SB 117 - Not really in our best interest

It's been a busy week and I am behind on this past week's news and events. First up was a fabulous 'Meet The Bloggers' round table discussion which brought together public officials, lawyers, citizens and bloggers to discuss Ohio's SB 117. It is well worth your time to listen to the podcast which you can find here. It will be on our next ballot for your vote.

A fellow Ohioan and blogger 'Maureen' said it right when she commented on my We Want Choice blog -- we've been had. When 'Earn and Learn' lobbied us to allow slots at racetracks, you could go to their website and see who the supporters were, and included were racetrack owners. Then we could all make informed decisions, based on the issues, regarding whether we wanted slots in Ohio. The We Want Choice website does not convey this information...doesn't tell us who is behind it. Turns out, AT&T and Verizon are behind it. Why not come out in the open guys?

Anyway, the issue regarding SB117 is that it would take away the cable franchising responsibilities from our individual communities and turn it over to the State of Ohio. How does giving up our ability as a community to negotiate who will be our cable providers give us more choice? It probably doesn't!

Matt Zone (Cleveland's Ward 17) is on the public utilities committee. He was at the round table discussion. He stated that Cleveland would wind up with one cable access channel instead of the seven we have now. There is a wealth of information on those access channels. Hmm. From seven to one....more choice or less? Councilman Zone also estimated a quarter of a million dollar loss in revenue each year from Cable revenues...and that was based solely on Time Warner as our city's cable provider.

Another worthy read was pointed out in my last blog on SB117 by George Nemeth of Brewed Fresh Daily. Bill Callahan wrote a good post discussing the issue and you can read that here.

Choice and competition is, I bet, what we all want from cable service. The City of Mentor just negotiated some competition. That was community, not State, controlled. You can hear about it on the podcast. Check it out. Peace Out - 3C