Submitted by Cacky Catlett on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 8:46pm.

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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