Kansas Bill Seeks To Bar Cities From Selling Cable

Google Inc.'s stock price soared past $700 for the first time Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2007. The internet search provider has gained an additional $55 billion in shareholder wealth in the past 6 1/2 weeks. (AP)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- The cable industry wants Kansas lawmakers to pass a measure that would prohibit cities from starting their own TV or broadband services.

The Kansas City Star reports the measure sought by the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association also would keep cities from partnering with private businesses for those services.

John Federico, president of the KCTA, says the group wants to prevent taxpayer-backed services from posing what it sees as unfair competition to private operators. The bill was introduced by the Republican-controlled Senate Commerce Committee on behalf of the cable group.

Google, which launched its first Internet access service in Kansas City, Kansas and a handful of utility associations have sharply criticized the measure. They say the bill would stifle economic growth and prevent the creation of thousands of jobs.