Lawmakers on Thursday indicated they have come to terms on what was once a controversial idea: whether to ease phone companies’ entry into the subscription television market. But squabbling over unrelated aspects of telecom reform is likely to prevent the overall legislation from passing this year.

“It is so important that we pass this phone video legislation and that we don’t let politics get in the way,” Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., pleaded to fellow lawmakers at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the communications industry.

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