While it had been reported that Montgomery's bill, HB 699, was to be considered this morning it didn't appear on the agenda until a few moments before the committee convened. 699 was quickly moved to the first slot of the day and testimony on it lasted most of the morning. New Orleans' wireless bills, which had been on the agenda were withdrawn from consideration, presumably to make way for the last-minute appearance of the franchise bill.
The session, which should show up in the house archives, was worth watching. In a nutshell: BellSouth and Montgomery said it was all about faster competition and getting a better price for the little guys. Cox said it was about unfair competition. The locals said it was all about stripping local communities of their rights. The most interesting speakers were near the end and Mike Stagg, a writer on this site, laid out the ugly truth is that this law is destined to be a huge ripoff that leaves local communities without promised income or control of their own property.
I'm very interested in following up on the "new" bill. A huge set of bills were offered and accepted with little comment by Montgomery, BellSouth's front man on the bill. They were all said to be amendments put forward to convince local governments to back off the bill. That didn't work and local governments remain adamantly opposed, so the new shape of the bill will likely call for a review. Tune in.