Here Comes a New Fed Telecom Bill (updated)

Since there’s no way that the telcos are really going to go municipality by municipality: Verizon, SBC Lose To Cable In Texas TV Battle

Verizon and SBC are betting that consumers will shun cable TV companies and buy television service from phone companies. But first, the telcos must win over state legislators.

They lost a round in Texas over the weekend when a bill stalled that would have allowed them to get a statewide television franchise instead of having to obtain franchises from each individual municipality.

The defeat makes an aggressive push from the regional Bells for new federal telecom regulation more likely.

Related: SBC Is Everybody’s Friend In Washington

Telco giant SBC may have lost an unusual home-court lobbying battle last weekend, but don’t expect that trend to continue, especially at the national regulatory level. Why? Because SBC gives generously to anyone and everyone in political office, something that probably doesn’t get ignored when it comes time to craft new telecom regulations.

The fact that SBC spends big bucks on both sides of the aisle isn’t necessarily news; but following a link on the National Journal’s home page that lists “who’s donating?,” you can proceed to Federal Election Commission contribution figures for the latest election cycle — and find SBC on top in telecom giving, with just over $500,000 in political contributions.