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January 13, 1998     (512) 463-0300

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS UTILITIES

SAN ANTONIO - The Legislative Committee on Municipal Franchise Agreements for Telecommunications Utilities held a public hearing Tuesday, January 13, in the San Antonio City Council Chambers. Membership of the committee includes co-chairs Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville and Representative Bill Carter of Fort Worth, Senators Florence Shapiro of Plano, David Sibley of Waco, Representatives Fred Hill of Richardson, and Steve Wolens of Dallas.

The committee is charged with determining the actual costs incurred by cities for the use of their rights-of-way for telecommunications services and cable television. Currently the state has no set standards or policies for fees paid to cities. The goal of the committee is to devise a fee structure that would fairly compensate Texas cities for the use of municipal rights-of-way while facilitating competition among the local telecommunications service providers.

The next hearing scheduled for February 25 in Fort Worth. The committee will submit its report by November 1, with recommendations for the 76th Legislative Session which convenes in January of 1999.

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