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Cable companies should be regulated by the NH Public Utilities Commission

To The Daily Sun,

"Cable television system'' means facilities by which television signals are received at a central location and for consideration are transmitted to customers or subscribers by means of cables or wires — RSA 53-C:1 Definitions.

In this chapter:

Point 1 - "Cable TV signals are one-way transmission. A television receiver does not communicate back to the transmitter."

"Authority to Grant Franchises. — Municipalities are hereby authorized to grant, renew, amend or rescind for cause franchises for the installation and operation of cable television systems in accordance with the provisions of this chapter within the geographical limits of its respective town or city. Provisions of this chapter within the geographical limits of its respective town or city." — RSA 53-C:3

"Authority to Establish Fees and Impose Conditions. – In conjunction with the rights granted in said franchises, any franchising authority may require reasonable fees payable to the municipality and may impose conditions not inconsistent with applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, as amended from time to time." — RSA 53-C:4

Point 2 – Cable TV subscribers have been paying a communication tax, as if it was a telephone customer with the exception that the cable company has not been governed by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission. What is problematic, and known by the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration, is that the tax is not applicable under current laws because communication such as is a two way process but it has never been legally challenged in the courts. (Check your cable bill.)

CONCLUSION.Technological advances allowed cable TV corporations to provide two-way communications as an internet provider and telephone, neither of which is not currently governed by the PUC.

However, the FCC in 2015 implemented “net neutrality rules,” which treat internet service providers like public utilities. In my opinion the telephone industry and the cable TV corporations should be on an equal playing field, but the cable TV, internet and phone providers in New Hampshire continue to escape the approval for its rates by the Public Utilities Commission. Furthermore, the franchise laws are obsolete because the cable TV/internet, with telephone comapnies are unregulated, while the telephone companies are regulated. The historical Bell System/land line providers struggle to make a reasonable profit.

In fact one could take the approach that the old-fashion phone company two-way communication breaches a franchise by providing DSL, internet, Vvdeo sports, TV news, movies and other commercial broadcasts comparable to cable providers.

It’s time that the franchise laws are deleted and the N.H. Public Utilities Commission relinquishes it control of all two-way communication industries. Competition is in the best interest of all consumers. Support and implement “net-neutral” it’s the law.

Thomas A. Tardif

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 673

Respectful disagreement is a cornerstone of a thriving community 240

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing as a father, a husband, a property owner, a taxpayer, a citizen, but most importantly as a human; in other words this is my personal opinion. My core principles, and the principles I believe the United States of America was founded on are: Democracy, equality, community, liberty, and respect. And, I believe these principles are based in civility, and the recognition of a common dignity that we each possess.

When my family and I bought a home in Ashland and set out to raise our children in Ashland, I was excited about the long-standing highly democratic roots of the state of New Hampshire. I hoped to get involved and attempt to make our small community one that would thrive and further exemplify the principals I mentioned above.

However, no one could have prepared me for the hostility, malice, and contempt demonstrated by a significant few. Rather than people tackling issues, I find people socially "tackling" people. Diversity of opinion is maligned, and ad hominem attacks abound. This causes me to worry that some may have lost touch with the principles on which the great state of New Hampshire was founded. Agreeing to disagree respectfully is an important cornerstone of any thriving community.

I am left wondering, what is going on? What is wrong? How can we dialogue in a fashion that allows for difference of opinion without letting intolerance color our perspective?

Tejasinha Sivalingam


  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 270