Florida Companies Duke it Out to Deliver Cable to Your Home

Phone companies and the cable industry are duking it out over how to best deliver cable to your home, and they've hired more than 100 lobbyists to help.

The phone companies want a statewide franchise to deliver cable to your home. The cable companies want to be regulated just the way they are by local governments.

A decade ago, the cable association became the telecommunications association. They wanted to get in the phone business, so now the phone companies want to be in the cable business.

When cable lobbyist Charlie Dudley got on the hot seat, he was asked why rates are up more than 80 percent over a decade.

"Have cable rates gone up? They have. Has the price of paying for coverage for the Olympics or the contracts that cover Major League Baseball or the NFL gone up? I think you all know that happened exponentially,” says Dudley.

When it came time, the vote wasn’t even close. The battle is far from over, but the phone companies smell victory while cable will muster the fight in the Senate on another day.

If you go strictly by the numbers, the phone companies appear to have an edge in the state Capitol. They’ve hired 90 lobbyists while the cable industry is making due with just 35. Between the two groups, that’s enough to assign one lobbyist to each member of the state Legislature.