The Business Council opposes this legislation that directs the Department of Public Service to undertake an audit of the current status of cable television systems operating and providing services to the customer premises over fiber optic cables. We oppose this bill for a number of reasons.
First, the NYS Public Service Commission recently completed a thorough and exhaustive review of the state of New York’s telecommunications industry including the deployment of advanced telecommunications, broadband and video infrastructure. The PSC’s findings clearly indicate that New York State residents benefit from excellent access to state-of-the-art network infrastructure, and that New York’s private sector broadband providers have made, and continue to make, extraordinary investments in their networks. New York’s broadband environment is thriving, robust and competitive. There is no need for a new and duplicative study aimed at one technology that wastes taxpayer resources while providing no new or valuable information.
Second, this bill could potentially undermine the state’s effort to grow and promote investment in our telecommunications network. Telecommunications and broadband providers are focused on deploying new, more robust networks for New Yorkers. Complying with new mandates like the extensive audits and information gathering proposed in this bill – which are not done in the normal course of business – will take focus and resources away from important network deployment, network upgrades and customer service. It is a waste of time.
Finally, targeting one industry for this substantial information reporting is discriminatory and unfair. Competitors would receive a roadmap for the cable providers’ deployment, providing them an unfair competitive advantage and undermining private, at-risk investment.
For the above referenced reasons, we oppose this legislation.