The Illinois legislature will act this session to renew Illinois' Cable and Video Competition Act of 2007 ("The Cable Act") prior to its sunset in October of 2013.
The Cable Television and Communications Association of Illinois is seeking changes to the Cable Act that will cut back support and channels for public use, reduce local regulatory controls, and create an unlevel playing field with other video providers.
Cable companies often point to the fiscal pressures caused by a competitive market as sufficient reason for more deregulation.
But let's look at the facts.
The number of U.S. cable TV subscribers decreased over the last decade. At the same time, the average monthly cable bill went up 84 percent. From 2001 to 2011, cable TV in the U.S. grew from a $37.5 billion to a $56.9 billion industry. And when you add in Internet and telephone, you're up to a whopping $97.6 billion by 2011, with total cable industry revenue doubling since 2001.
The upshot is that unlike most local communities across the state, the cable industry saw revenues climb right through the recession.
Illinois welcomes healthy business partners. But Illinois residents need and deserve laws from the legislature that protect the public.
They are already paying the price.