(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) last night voted in favor of H.R. 5252 The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006. This bipartisan legislation removes unnecessary red tape and outdated regulations, paving the way for increased competition in the telecommunications market and ensuring the United States remains a leader in technological innovation.
“Updating our telecommunication laws will help keep our economy strong by increasing competition, driving down prices, and improving service,” said McMorris. “In Eastern Washington, COPE means better service in rural areas and cities, competition so people have more than one cable or internet company to choose from, and access to broadband and other technology.”
Telecommunications contributes $864 billion to the US economy, nearly a third of the worlds overall spending in this sector. Despite the progress that has been made in telecommunication and technology, consumers still experience high costs, and many do not have choice when it comes to the marketplace. This bill offers a feasible and common sense approach to opening up the nationwide market so providers can compete head to head. Studies have shown that competition leads to lower prices. According to the Government Accountability Office, where true cable competition exists, cable rates are typically 15 percent lower.
“The United States currently ranks 12th in broadband deployment; we must do better. The availability of high-speed Internet access in rural areas will promote economic growth and development in our local communities. It allows for access to important services, such as telehealth, and creates new businesses opportunities so small towns can continue to grow.”