WASHINGTON - A House of Representatives committee last week passed legislation to make it easier for telephone companies to launch video services, offering hundreds of TV channels.
    The vote follows vigorous complaints from giants such as AT&T and Verizon that their rollout of TV service is slowed by the need to obtain approval from thousands of local authorities.
    Under the bill okayed by the House telecommunications subcommittee, the companies can now move into localities quickly after gaining federal permission.
    The panel rejected Democrat-led attempts to require phone companies to offer their new services throughout local communities - as opposed to selected areas.