Bill Text: NJ SR113 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate rates of every tier of cable television service.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2017-05-01 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee [SR113 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-SR113-Introduced.html

SENATE RESOLUTION No. 113

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 1, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Senator  CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate rates of every tier of cable television service.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Senate Resolution urging the federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate the rates of every tier of cable television service.

 

Whereas, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has federal jurisdiction over the regulation of cable television (CATV) service in this country; and

Whereas, In 1972, this State enacted the "Cable Television Act," P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-1 et seq.), which established the Board of Public Utilities (board), through the Office of Cable Television, as the State franchising authority with jurisdiction over CATV service providers that conduct business in this State; and

Whereas, In 1984, Congress passed the "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984," Pub.L.98-549 (1984 act), which, among other things, prohibited the regulation of non-basic tier CATV service rates and permitted state franchising authorities to regulate the basic tier CATV service rates of CATV service providers that are not subject to effective competition in their franchise area; and

Whereas, The FCC defined "effective competition" so broadly as to eliminate 97 percent of CATV service providers from basic tier CATV service rate regulation; and

Whereas, As a result of this de facto deregulation of CATV service rates, CATV service rates for the basic tier of CATV service increased 43 percent between 1986 and 1989; and

Whereas, In response to the precipitous rise in CATV service rates due to the 1984 act, Congress passed the "Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992," Pub.L.102-385 (1992 act), which narrowed the definition of "effective competition," expanding the ability of a state franchising authority to regulate basic tier CATV service rates; and

Whereas, The 1992 act also allowed the FCC to regulate rates for non-basic tiers of CATV service, and for the installation and maintenance of CATV service if it found that a CATV service provider's rates or charges were unreasonable under FCC regulations; and

Whereas, In 1999, as a result of a provision in the "Telecommunications Act of 1996," Pub.L.104-104, Congress prohibited the FCC from regulating the rates of non-basic service tiers offered by all CATV service providers and allowed a CATV service provider to charge any rate for these services; and

Whereas, Pursuant to State law, the board prescribes just and reasonable rates for the rate of basic tier CATV service that is not subject to effective competition in the CATV service provider's franchise area in this State; and

Whereas, The average monthly price of expanded basic CATV service in this country has increased at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent, compared to 2.4 percent growth in the consumer price index, from 1995 to 2013; and

Whereas, Studies indicate that CATV service rates continue to increase at four times the rate of inflation; and

Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper for this House, and in the public interest, to urge the federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate the rates of every tier of CATV service offered by CATV service providers in the United States in order to curtail the steady increase of CATV service rates affecting customers; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This House urges the federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate the rates of every tier of cable television service offered by CATV service providers in order to curtail the steady increase of CATV service rates affecting customers.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the President of the United States, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, to each member of Congress elected from this State, and to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This Senate resolution urges the federal government to permit state franchising authorities to regulate the rates of every tier of cable television (CATV) service offered by CATV service providers in order to curtail the steady increase of CATV service rates affecting customers.

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