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ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – October 14, 2009
 Key Developments  

ACA Applauds House Members for Addressing Small Operators' Concerns About Bill on Loudness of TV Ads

  Loudness Regulation
The American Cable Association commended several House lawmakers for agreeing to work with small cable operators that have expressed concerns about legislation that would order the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the loudness of TV commercials aired by broadcasters and all pay-TV providers.

"ACA is pleased that some House members recognize that many small cable operators have no control over the loudness of commercials contained in local TV shows or national cable networks," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "ACA is hopeful that Congress will consider an exemption for small cable companies that do not insert their own ads and will give small operators that perform ad insertions a reasonable amount of time to come into compliance." Read More / Comment on Story

ACA's Polka Requests Parity Between DBS and Cable if Congress Opts to Approve New Broadcast Carriage Rules

Addressing a major policy issue under debate on Capitol Hill, American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka urged key House and Senate lawmakers to maintain regulatory parity between cable operators and satellite TV providers in the event Congress decides to adopt new broadcast carriage rules designed to expand choice and consumer access to state-related news, weather reports and other vital information.

"Over the years, Congress has promoted multichannel video competition by allowing satellite providers to offer local broadcast signals initially and later significantly viewed stations in a comparable manner to cable. Giving DirecTV and Dish Network the right to now offer new broadcast services while denying small cable operators the same right would be an unfair departure from precedent and harmful to the competitive regulatory balance that Congress has been attempting to perfect for more than two decades," Polka said. Read More / Comment on Story

ACA Praises ACA Member WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone On Winning Prestigious J.D. Power Award

  WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka saluted CEO Colleen Abdoulah and her team at WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone on winning the U.S. north central region in the most recent national consumer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

"Taking first place in the latest J.D. Power survey is a great and richly deserved honor for WOW! under CEO Colleen Abdoulah, who has made a lasting contribution to ACA over the years in her role as a highly valued board member," Polka said. "WOW! not only took top honors in its north central region, but it also received the highest point total of any company in the survey, including the winners of the other three regions." Read More / Comment on Story

ACA Salutes Cable ONE President and CEO Tom Might on Receiving President's Award from the Association of Cable Communicators

Tom Might  
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka applauded the news that Cable ONE President and CEO and ACA board member Tom Might has been named a co-recipient of the 2009 President's award by the Association of Cable Communicators:

"I am very pleased that ACC's leadership has decided to honor Tom Might with this prestigious award, which recognizes Tom's years of dedication to his company, his commitment to customer care and his valued service to the entire cable industry," Polka said. "Over the years, I and many others have come to rely on Tom's advice and wisdom on the vital issues of the day. As a result, I know that small and independent cable operators have made tremendous progress during Tom's tenure on the ACA board." Read More / Comment on Story

 Member Story  

Hiawatha Broadband Communications Inc.

  Hiawatha Broadband Communications
Consumers in rural Minnesota communities could be early beneficiaries of the federal government's much-publicized broadband stimulus program, especially if Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. can obtain some of the $7.2 billion in grant and loan money that will be distributed over the next year.

Hiawatha — an ACA member located in Winona, southeast of the Twin Cities — has applied for $5.7 million in funding under separate federal programs run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service. The first projects picked for funding are scheduled to be announced in November. Read More / Comment on Story

 News Headlines  
  • Bill Would Boost Public-Access Channels (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/12)
    For the past two years, Madison's local community access television station WYOU has been bracing for Jan. 1, 2011, the date it loses its public funding and has to become self-sufficient.
  • FCC to Probe Google Voice Service (The Wall Street Journal, 10/9)
    The Federal Communications Commission opened an inquiry Friday into whether Google Inc.'s phone-management service is restricting calls as regulators grappled with how to regulate new-media products.
  • FCC Looks to Add to Airwaves for Wireless (The Wall Street Journal, 10/9)
    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said the agency was looking for ways to make more airwaves available for next-generation wireless networks, underscoring the expanding need sparked by the growing use of iPhones and similar devices.
  • House Panel OKs TV Loudness Standard (The Wrap, 10/8)
    A panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of legislation that would require the FCC to implement a new loudness standard within a year.
  • Judge Recommends Denying Wealth TV Complaint: Source (Multichannel News, 10/8)
    A Federal Communications Commission administrative judge has recommended denying the program-carriage complaint of Wealth TV, according to a source close to the case.
  • Intel Seeks Waiver On FCC's FireWire Set-Top Rule (Multichannel News, 10/8)
    Intel has requested a waiver to the Federal Communications Commission's rule requiring HD cable set-tops to include an IEEE 1394 high-speed serial bus port -- also known as FireWire -- for units that incorporate the chip maker's system-on-a-chip processors with IP outputs.
  • Genachowski Hopes FCC Will Deal With PEG Carriage Soon (Broadcasting & Cable, 10/6)
    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has told Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) that he hopes the commission will be able to deal with the issue of carriage of PEG (public, educational and government) channels "in the near future."
  • FTC Targets Bloggers, Celebrities (, 10/6)
    Commission is going after bloggers, celebrities and tall tales in the first revision of its rules for endorsements and product reviews in nearly 30 years.
  • Four U.S. States Win First Broadband Mapping Grants (Reuters, 10/5)
    California and three other states were among the first recipients of more than $6.8 million in grants to map broadband use in U.S. homes, the Commerce Department said on Monday.
  • Is It Time To Dump Compulsory License? (TVNewsCheck, 10/2)
    I'm a big believer in John Tupper's remedy for all that ails TV broadcasting: more money - much more money - from the cable and satellite operators who have built their multi-billion-dollar businesses on the backs of TV stations and their networks.
  • FCC Asks Court To Keep Stay on Newspaper-Broadcast Crossownership Rule Change (Broadcasting & Cable, 10/2)
    The FCC has asked the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to keep the court's current stay of the FCC's newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule change in place for a while.
  • Few Immediate Regulatory Hurdles For A Comcast-NBC Combo (Los Angeles Times, 10/1)
    There isn't even a deal to criticize yet, but that's not stopping some public advocacy groups from making noise about a possible Comcast-NBC Universal combination needing to be scrutinized by regulators in Washington.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page on the ACA website.

 About ACA  

Small markets and rural areas across the country are receiving video, high-speed broadband, and phone services from more than 900 small and medium-sized independent operators represented by the American Cable Association (ACA).

ACA's membership comprises cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities, who deliver these affordable basic and advanced services, such as high-definition television, next generation Internet access, and digital phone, to more than 7 million households and businesses, some of whom have no other means of receiving these vital services.

These communications services are considered by most to be essential for individuals, companies, and other entities, like schools and hospitals, and are crucial to America's economic prosperity, particularly in smaller markets and rural areas.

The ACA works to ensure its members are treated fairly in the marketplace and in Washington, so that small and medium-sized independent operators may continue to thrive and deliver affordable video, broadband, and phone services to Main Street America. Through active participation in the legislative and regulatory process, ACA and its members advocate for the interests of their customers, their companies, and their communities to help ensure the continued viability of their hometown's way of life.

For more information, visit, or contact:

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