Dear Editor:

A question to all of your readers: Are you a cable customer tired of rising cable bills that don't match the amount of services and technologies that are being provided to you? If you answered "yes" to this question, then I suggest that you contact Senators Jay Rockefeller and Robert C. Byrd and ask them to do something about it by voting in favor of The Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act (H.R.5252).

If this legislation is enacted, the customer will become the primary concern of cable companies, as the cable market will be open to competition, which will force them to lower bills and offer more services in an effort to keep customers. Local officials will also be able to set a franchise fee of up to five percent of gross revenues and additional fee of up to one percent to support public and educational programming.

Also key in this legislation is the "Internet Consumer Bill of Rights" that will ensure subscribers the right to have access lawful content of their choosing. The bill will protect the interests of taxpayers by preserving local government control over rights-of-way, and will allow cities and towns to charge permit fees to recoup their costs.

Senators Rockefeller and Byrd have the chance to act on our behalf and vote in FAVOR of H.R.5252. Please call Senator Rockefeller in Charleston 304-347-5372 and in Washington D.C. 202-224-6472 and Senator Byrd in Charleston 304-342-5855 and in Washington D.C 202-224-3957. With your urging, we are one step closer to fairness in the cable industry!

Allison Peecook

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