Bill to allow third party to resolve rate issues

The Republican-backed legislation is being proposed at the same time as a competing GOP measure that seeks to nearly double the rates for broadband companies to attach to utility poles.

FILE- (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee lawmakers are proposing a bill that would allow a third party to settle rate disputes between cable companies and utility pole owners.

The Republican-backed legislation is being proposed at the same time as a competing GOP measure that seeks to nearly double the rates for broadband companies to attach to utility poles.

Currently, those providers pay an average of $17 per pole a year. The proposal would push the rate to $33 per pole annually.

Andy Macke is vice president of government and community affairs for cable television giant Comcast.

He says the third party legislation is necessary because "right now there are no rules of the road."

Sponsors of the measure say the rate increase would lead to not only higher costs for consumers, but a delay in rural broadband expansion.


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