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Benefits from Statewide Cable and Video Franchise Reform Remain Uncertain, Report No. 09-35, October 2009
 
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  • The 2007 Consumer Choice Act provided for a statewide franchise for cable and video service providers and ended local government authority to negotiate franchise agreements. Several departments—State, Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Legal Affairs—have responsibilities related to the new law but none has regulatory authority. As many as 20 states also passed statewide franchise laws in recent years. However, little systematic information exists to demonstrate the effect of these laws.
  • Since 2007, the Department of State has issued 26 state franchise certificates; most certificates were issued to existing cable or video service providers. However, two barriers prevent a comprehensive assessment of the affect of these franchises on competition for cable and video services: provider reluctance to share data and insufficient information provided in statewide franchise documents. In light of these difficulties, the Legislature may wish to consider amending s. 610.119(1), Florida Statutes, to modify study requirements or make changes that might lessen the industry concerns regarding a required December 2014 follow-up study on cable and video services competition.

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