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Senate Commerce Delays Telecom Markup

The Senate Commerce Committee is working on a revised draft of its telecom reform bill and will push back a markup to June 20.

The committee is also adding a third hearing on the bill June 13--the first was held Thursday, May 18, the second will be May 25.
The additional hearing is to give legislators a chance to review the changes, which could include a larger role for local governments in franchise negotiations under a new streamlined video franchise system that is the centerpiece of the bill.
Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said Thursday that critics had a point when they argued the draft transferred too much authority form localities to the FCC and that the new draft would seek a middle ground.