Copyright 2002 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

The Hill…02/20/2002

From LexisNexis

It's crunch time for the controversial Tauzin-Dingell broadband access bill.

The measure calls on the Federal Communication Commission to adopt policies that the telephone companies say would allow them to freely deploy high-speed Internet services, known as broadband, on a nationwide basis.

It's been run through the legislative mill by Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and John Dingell (D-Mich.), the ranking minority member on the panel.

The United States Telecom Association, which represents the so-called Baby Bells and is a leading advocate of Tauzin-Dingell, has been running newspaper and television ads here in anticipation of the vote.

The print version asks: "What do a shoe, a race car and a cable giant have in common? They all like to play Monopoly." The ad goes on to say that support for Tauzin-Dingell would "ensure competition in the high-speed market."

Meanwhile, Voices for Choices, a coalition comprised of smaller phone companies and associations, has been continuously running a series of ads opposing the measure.