A major telecommunications bill intended to allow cable phone
companies to compete with monopoly cable TV and Internet providers
like Cox Communications was denounced Monday by Santa Barbara
finance chief Robert Peirson in a meeting with the City Council and
Congresswoman Lois Capps. Peirson charged the proposed
bill – Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act
(COPE) – would strip local governments of regulatory powers and
transfer limited oversight to the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) while restricting fees charged by local governments for
public access funding. Capps voiced similar concerns about COPE,
sponsored by Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), and said she would
not vote for it unless they were addressed. Discussion on the bill
begins the middle of this week.


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