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MO state Senator pulls plug on cable TV bill

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Sen. John Griesheimer (R-Washington) (state photo)

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – An effort to change telecommunications law in Missouri is dead, at least for this year.

State Sen. John Griesheimer (R-Washington) said Monday night he won't bring up the measure up again this year.

Griesheimer's bill was backed by AT&T (formerly SBC Communications). The legislation would have lowered barriers for phone companies to offer an Internet-based TV service.

Currently, companies have to negotiate deals with all 553 local Missouri governments that have cable franchises. The bill would let like AT&T seek a state-issued franchise to enter multiple markets.

Cable companies and some local governments complained the bill would have given AT&T an unfair edge, noting the provision that would have allowed newcomers to offer TV service in areas smaller than those covered by cable providers.

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