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HB 1505 is Harmful to Electric Cooperatives

  HB 1505 is Harmful to Electric Cooperatives

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative wants to see broadband available for everyone. And there are several good broadband related bills currently in the Texas legislature. But one of those broadband bills is harmful to electric cooperatives.

CSHB 1505 was created by big cable companies, specifically by Charter Communications. While agreements allowing cable companies and others to attach their lines to our co-op poles are not new, this bill places unfair burdens on Sam Houston EC members by, among other things, requiring co-ops to replace or re-engineer poles when it may not be necessary to do so. There is no need for a Fortune 100 company that has already been awarded more than $1 billion in federal funds, to shift a portion of their costs to the consumer-members of our not-for-profit electric co-op.

CSHB 1505 also forces electric cooperatives under the rules and regulations of the FCC in Washington D.C., even though U.S. Congress has specifically exempted electric co-ops from FCC rules for many years. Rather than putting electric co-ops under FCC regulation, we believe the rules should be spelled out in the bill itself.

And co-ops need to be able to deny attachments to cable companies that do not pay the cost of their attachments, or who operate in an unsafe manner.

Broadband is needed in rural Texas. But let’s be fair about it. Co-op members should not have to subsidize Big Cable so Charter Communications can make bigger profits. Please contact your State Representative today and let them know that CSHB 1505 needs to be changed, so that it is fair and works for everyone.

Click here to find your representative: https://house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative/.