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This chapter discusses how the issue of statewide cable franchising in the United States reintroduced us to two actors in communication policymaking that have long been dormant: local municipalities and state legislatures. Moreover, it exemplifies both convergence and deconvergence in American telecommunications policy. Convergence occurred through the 1996 Telecommunications Act that allowed multi-modal competition in cable, telephony, and internet. Deconvergence occurred with the emergence of new policy actors. Separately, neither regulatory convergence nor deconvergence are problematic. Their concurrence, however, has led to a state of what critical political economists call “regulatory capture” and “policy failure.” As a result, the public interest is often left unprotected while the various legislative and regulatory bodies vie for jurisdictional authority over cable television.
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- Regulatory (de) Convergence: Localism, Federalism, and Nationalism in American Telecommunications Policy
- Chapter 14
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