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Senate approves new communication technology rules

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- New rules governing how North Carolina
towns and cities can offer broadband, television and telephone
services has received tentative approval in the state Senate.

The Senate voted 37-9 on Monday night in favor of a version of
the House measure following robust debate that began late last week
and votes on several amendments. Bill supporters include
traditional cable telecommunications providers that argue
municipalities have had unfair financial advantages offering the
service.

At least five communities that already offer the service,
including Wilson and Salisbury, will be exempt from many new
requirements. The rules provide the services in the future to hold
public hearings about their plans, prevent them from using other
public money for the project and take on debt without voter
approval.

Another Senate vote could come Tuesday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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