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Texas Telecommunications Bill Revived

A bill that would make it easier for telephone companies to sell cable TV may be put to a vote again in the Texas statehouse this week, revived for the second time since May courtesy of an unrelated stalemate over public school funding. The wide-ranging telecommunications bill, approved by separate House and Senate committees on Thursday, is one of several initiatives in statehouses around the nation and in Congress that would enable phone companies to avoid the arduous task of securing thousands of local cable TV licenses. Those efforts have already stalled in Virginia and New Jersey, two of the states where Verizon Communications Inc. and SBC Communications Inc. are investing billions of dollars to upgrade their local phone networks to deliver TV and faster Internet connections.

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