Governor Doyle signs a controversial bill deregulating the cable industry, while also using his veto pen to make some changes.
The Governor used his partial veto authority on the bill, restoring some state controls and consumer protections. UW-Madison telecommunications professor Barry Orton says the changes will help a little, but basically take a very bad bill and improve it a little.
Orton says the major positive change made by the Governor was to grant some rule making authority to the Department of Financial Institutions. That agency will oversee the new statewide cable franchises created by the bill.
Orton says consumers gained very little under the bill, and will still have to rely on the state to help them. He says that will result in them basically having to wait for the enough complaints to be made for officials to take action. The Governor did restore a current restriction on cable outages, which requires companies to compensate customers if service is out for more than four hours.
Despite the Governor's changes, Orton says groups pushing the bill still got most of what they wanted.