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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Cable Open Access Was Top Lobbying Issue for Quarter

November 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Cable open access was the top lobbying issue during the third quarter of the year, according to a report issued Wednesday from the city's Ethics Commission.

Eleven companies spent $349,254 on open access for the period ending Sept. 30; AT&T was the top spender with $102,146.

With an open access policy, cable television companies must open their high speed cable lines to all Internet service providers. Cable TV firms have opposed that, dubbing it "forced access."

Last week, the council passed a resolution to support open access and urge the Federal Trade Commission to require that of cable companies. Recent federal court decisions have appeared to dilute the power of local cities on the matter.

The Playa Vista development project was the second most lobbied issue, with $187,539 spent, followed by the Chase Knolls apartment issue in Sherman Oaks, with $160,418 in expenditures.

The other issues, in order of lobbying fees spent, include:

* Cellular phones and antennas--$158,417.

* Taxicab franchises--$108,236.

* Porter Ranch development project--$92,007.

* Greek Theatre contract--$91,714.

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