Professor Hazlett on California Bill for Telecom Entry to Cable Markets

Competition from telecom providers' entry into the cable market under a bill working its way through the California Legislature may not provide cost savings to consumers, according to Professor Thomas Hazlett. Rather, Hazlett sees benefit to subscribers from increased programming options and other service values.

A lower cable bill? Don't count on it, The Orange County Register, August 1, 2006. By Brian Joseph.

"Telecom executives already have said they're not interested in competing with cable companies on price, focusing instead on customer service, offering more channels and bundling cable with telephone and Internet services.

"The result, experts and opponents say, would be more cable providers and more choices in the kind of cable packages you receive, but consumer prices wouldn't go down.

"'Their intent is not to cut prices. Their intent is to make money on the deal,' said Thomas Hazlett, a law professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., who has studied the cable industry for more than 20 years.

"Hazlett supports telecoms entering the cable market but said, 'The best way to come in is not with a price war. It's to come in with twice as many channels.'

"He says that's still a win for consumers."

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