Franchise Reform?

shutesbury.jpg In the previous post, I quoted a paper as saying competition would promote lower prices. Here’s what the authors recommend to produce that competition:
Federal reform and additional state-specific reforms have focused on reforming “video franchising” laws to reduce barriers to entry and investment by new service providers. We commend such policies as likely to contribute to investment and competition in broadband services.

The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: A Cross-sectional Analysis of U.S. Data, By Robert Crandall, William Lehr and Robert Litan, Brookings Institution, 2007

Here’s what some affected parties think about that:
Two years ago we profiled the rural Massachusetts towns of Shutesbury and Leverett, who have long been trying to get broadband from anyone — but aren’t deemed profitable to serve by Comcast or Verizon. While towns as close as 300 feet get service, these two towns are still waiting, though some have concocted home brew solutions. Locals tell us they were insulted when approached by Verizon to support “franchise reform,” which all but seals their fate by eliminating build out requirements.

Broadband Black Holes: FiOS? We’ve never been able to get DSL, by Karl,, 10:42AM Thursday Jul 05 2007

It seems “franchise reform” may be one of those newspeak phrases like “tax relief” which is used to persuade those who will suffer to support something that will benefit those who propose it.

It’s enough to make you nostalgic for FDR and the REA.