The cable industry says it is moving to create a single-payer system for consumers, but a number of Republican lawmakers and advocacy groups say the move is not likely to happen anytime soon.
The industry says its current system for offering bundled packages to households is “very effective” and that its new approach will allow for a more competitive market.
The cable industry also says its new system will be easier to use and more reliable.
But, the industry is not expected to get support from Republicans in Congress to enact a single payer system.
The industry argues that consumers will be able to choose the best option for them, but that the existing model for cable customers will not be available to all Americans.
Democrats and consumer advocates have said the industry needs to start from scratch, because of the way cable packages are structured.
“Consumers will be the ones who choose what cable they want, and the cable industry will not provide it to them,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
“The industry is going to have to start again, because we don’t want it to be the same old cable,” Markey said.
“I think we can have a truly single-payer system.”
Some Democrats have called on the industry to create an alternative to cable that does not require cable companies to give the government a fee for each customer.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin said in a statement Monday that she has been in contact with cable industry leaders and the FCC’s chief of staff.
“We need a single public-private system that will allow consumers to choose what their Internet service provider can and can’t offer,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said she hopes the industry will make progress on a single billing system before it begins offering bundled services.