MILWAUKEE, Wis., Feb. 6, 2007 – Wisconsin consumers believe cable TV
> prices are too high and say they would support legislation for a
> statewide franchise that would encourage alternatives to cable,
> according to a recent poll conducted by the public opinion research
> firm Peter D. Hart Research Associates.
> According to the survey, 77% of voters say that there is not enough
> competition for cable service, and 75% of voters think that the price
> for cable TV is too high. Only 9% say the price is about right, and
> just 4% think that it is a good buy. Fully 73% of voters say they
> support legislation to create a statewide video franchise process.
> “Like other consumers around the country, Wisconsin residents are
> eager for an alternative to cable,” AT&T Wisconsin President Scott T.
> VanderSanden said. “The poll reflects the fact that Wisconsin
> consumers feel that they are being hit in the pocketbook by high cable
> prices and a lack of alternatives. They understand that a statewide
> video franchise law would offer consumers concrete benefits in the
> form of more choices, competitive prices and better products and
> services.”
> The FCC last year released figures showing that cable prices
> nationally rose on average 93% between 1995 and 2005. In Wisconsin,
> Time Warner Cable rates rose 62% in Milwaukee from 1999 to this year.
> Charter Cable’s rates in Madison rose 61% from 1999 to 2006.
> Wisconsin legislators are expected to introduce a bill this year to
> encourage alternatives to cable. The law would enable competitors of
> cable providers to receive a single statewide franchise to provide
> video alternatives. Under similar laws already passed in 11 other
> states, competitors would be required to provide local governments
> with the same percentage of revenue that cable companies provide and
> to transmit public, emergency and government channels now offered by
> cable companies.
> The State Senate Commerce, Utilities and Rail Utilities Committee is
> holding an informational hearing on the issue of video franchising at
> 11 a.m. Wednesday at the State Capitol.
> Peter D. Hart Research Associates, one of the leading survey research
> firms in the country, conducted the poll on behalf of AT&T. Hart
> Research interviewed 604 randomly selected Wisconsin voters. The
> survey has a margin of error of +4.1 percentage points.
> About AT&T
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