Television

US consumer groups want cable TV re-regulated

WASHINGTON: Four consumer advocacy groups in the US have indicated that they will lobby Congress to reimpose regulation on cable television operators. The aim is to stop them from gouging TV viewers and dominating the growing market for high-speed Internet service.

A Reuters report states that US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), Consumer federation of America (CFA), The Center for Digital Democracy and the Media Access Project have stated that the authority to oversee prices in the industry should go to state public utility commissions.

The groups have added that next month they will also lobby for legislation requiring cable operators to allow consumers more leeway to choose which channels they receive.

CFA's research director Mark Cooper was quoted in the report saying, "The solution to cable's unfettered abuse is for Congress to move decision-making out of Washington, return authority to local communities, and give consumers real choices".

Cable operators have blamed rising rates on soaring programming costs, especially for sports events. They say the industry faces stiff competition from satellite TV services. Responding to the latest attack by consumer groups, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has said the proposals amounted to "recycled arguments that fell out of favor a decade ago."

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