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Consumers for Cable Choice Membership Swells to More Than 365,000

Advocacy Groups from Across the Nation to Work Together to Bring Competition to Cable TV Industry

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 365,000 residential and small business consumers from diverse groups across the United States have joined forces to urge public officials to reform outdated franchise requirements and give them a choice in cable television providers.

Under the banner of Consumers for Cable Choice, consumers from each of the 50 states are calling for telecommunications law changes that will lead to more competitive prices, improved customer service and more diverse and innovative programming.

"Antiquated laws are holding consumers captive to an uncaring and unresponsive cable monopoly," said Consumers for Cable Choice Executive Director Jim Conran, noting that under the current 40-year-old cable franchise scheme:

* Cable rates have risen 86% in the past decade, while most other technology-based consumer prices have declined.

* Consumers have a significantly higher opinion of the customer service provided by the Internal Revenue Service than by their cable provider.

* Diverse and innovative programming is being kept from consumers because of cable's technological limitations and stilted pricing structures.

Consumers for Cable Choice supports changes in franchise requirements that will enable competitive service providers to offer video services. The reforms that will also ensure local revenue and public access benefits are preserved. Allowing competitors to enter the cable television market will redefine video service for consumers, Conran said.

"New, fiber-based technology will expand programming options and offer an interactive platform for a number of beneficial applications that will span generations. For instance, imagine the ability to educate pre-schoolers and to check on elderly shut-ins through the same interactive video technology. This will transform people's lives for the better."

Consumers for Cable Choice members include: * League of United Latin American Citizens, Washington, D.C. (http://www.lulac.org/index.html ) * California Small Business Association, California (http://www.csba.com/ ) * California Farmers Union, California (http://www.calfu.org/ ) * Warren-Trumbull Urban League, Ohio (http://www.nul.org/ ) * Urban League of Racine & Kenosha, Inc., Wisconsin (http://www.nul.org/ ) * Hopkins House Association, Virginia (http://www.hopkinshouse.com/ ) * Americans for Competitive Telecommunications, California * Women Impacting Public Policy, Oklahoma, California, Washington, D.C. (http://www.wipp.org/ ) * California Small Business Roundtable, California (http://www.csba.com/roundtable/ ) * Consumers Coalition of California * Consumers Alliance of the South East, Texas * Self Help for the Elderly, California (http://www.selfhelpelderly.org/ ) * World Institute on Disabilities, California (http://www.wid.org/ ) * American Association of Business Persons with Disabilities, California * Independent Living Network, California * Florida Consumers Action Team, Florida * California Alliance for Consumer Protection, California * Democratic Processes Center, Arizona * Citizens Against Regulatory Excess, California * Arizona Consumers Council (http://azconsumerscouncil.org/ ) * Consumers First, Inc., California * The Consumer Alliance, Washington, D.C. * Electric Consumers Alliance, Indiana * Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, Alabama About Consumers for Cable Choice, Inc. (http://consumers4choice.org/ )

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. C4CC is a national alliance of consumer advocacy groups, private citizens and others who are committed to promoting maximum choice for consumers in cable, video and broadband services. Its mission is to actively remove the regulatory roadblocks that stand between today's monopolies and reformed government policies that open the channels for fair competition. C4CC uses a combination of education and grassroots advocacy to impact change, which will result in a deregulated and pro-consumer market that stimulates fair price, more choices and better service options in the cable television industry. President Robert K. Johnson has been advocating for policies that benefit residential and small business consumers for more than 20 years. Executive Director Jim Conran has represented consumer issues in the corporate, public and nonprofit sectors for 25 years. He has expertise in regulatory and public policy. For more information, call (317) 205-9690.

Media Contacts: Jim Conran Cheryl Reed Consumers for Cable Choice Synergy Marketing Group, Inc. (925) 209-8246 (317) 205-9690 [email protected]@synergy-mg.com

Consumers for Cable Choice

CONTACT: Media Contacts: Jim Conran of Consumers for Cable Choice,
+1-925-209-8246, [email protected] ; or Cheryl Reed of Synergy Marketing
Group, Inc., +1-317-205-9690, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.consumers4choice.org/

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