ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue Ė May 22, 2013 

 Key Developments  

ACA Applauds Sen. Rockefeller's GAO Request To Study TV Station Collusion

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued May 14 the following statement on Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefellerís request to the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the impact of TV stations' shared services agreements (SSAs) on consumers:

ďACA applauds Sen. Rockefeller for requesting a U.S. Government Accountability Office study on the impact of separately owned, same market broadcasters coordinating their activities.

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ACA Commends FCC On CAF II Challenge Rules

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued May 16 the following statement on the Federal Communications Commission's order on the process for challenging areas eligible for Connect America Fund II support:

"ACA commends the FCC for proposing a challenge process that is fair for unsubsidized broadband competitors, which in many cases will be ACA Members. In doing so, the FCC is following through on its policy to avoid providing government support in areas where an unsubsidized broadband provider is already offering service.

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ACA: FCC Can Address Rural Call Completion Problems Without Burdening Local Phone Carriers

The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to address rural call completion issues by holding long distance providers responsible because they control call routing and have direct access to data to monitor calls. In contrast, placing responsibility on local service providers would not be as effective or efficient a solution and would prove burdensome for smaller providers.

"In considering potential solutions, the FCC needs to avoid imposing any rules on local service providers who are not long-distance providers -- a class that includes almost all ACA members. ACA urges the FCC to ensure that any new regulations are targeted toward initial facilities-based long distance providers," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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American Cable Association Statement On McCain A La Carte Bill

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued May 9 the following statement on the introduction of video programming competition legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):

"The American Cable Association salutes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for continuing his search for solutions designed to provide consumers with more choice in the selection of video programming, including local TV signals, offered by pay-TV providers. In today's pay-TV world, programmers prefer that consumers have less choice, and we agree that this sorry situation needs to change.

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ACA: FCC Should Improve 911 Reliability By Focusing On Failures Identified In Derecho Report

The American Cable Association filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission suggesting that the FCC respond to the large loss of connectivity because of the June, 2012, Derecho with service reliability regulations targeted toward the 911 Service Providers that were identified as being responsible.

"The FCC's Derecho Report found that multiple 911 service providers failed to implement industry best practices with respect to 911 circuit auditing, central office backup power supplies, and diversity of network monitor and control links effectively, or at all, leading to communications outages affecting millions of Americans. Accordingly, the FCC should target its proposed service reliability regulations on these service providers," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines

  • Clyburn To Lead FCC On May 20 (Multichannel News, 5/17)
    FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will become acting chair of the agency, effective Monday, May 20, according to an FCC spokesperson. She will be the first woman to hold that post.
  • FCC Nominee To Divest AT&T, Verizon To Avoid Conflict (Bloomberg, 5/17)
    Tom Wheeler, President Barack Obamaís nominee to head the FCC, agreed to sell holdings of $500,001 to $1 million in both AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to resolve possible conflicts of interest before taking office.
  • CEA Ponders Challenge To Charter STB Waiver (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/16)
    Opponents of the FCC's conditional waiver to the charter for set-tops with downloadable security, which includes notably the Consumer Electronics Association, have until the end of this week to appeal that decision.
  • DirecTV Looks To Test Off-Air Antenna In Set-Top (Multichannel News, 5/15)
    DirecTV is considering testing a new set-top that incorporates an antenna allowing customers to pull over-the-air broadcast signals, which could allow the satellite giant to avoid paying millions of dollars per year in retransmission consent fees.
  • Time Warner Cable Considering Bid For Hulu (New York Post, 5/15)
    The cable guys are circling Hulu.
  • Private Equity Firm GTCR Snaps Up NewWave (FierceCable, 5/14)
    Private equity firm GTCR has acquired NewWave Communications from Pamlico Capital.
  • Cable Bills Focus Of Congress Push For A La Carte Prices (Bloomberg, 5/14)
    Itís time to let television viewers buy individual channels rather than being required to pay for bundles of programming, and to end blackouts of sports events in publicly financed stadiums, U.S. Senator John McCain said.
  • Charter CEO Rutledge Supports McCain A La Carte Bill (The Sacramento Bee, 5/14)
    Charter Communications today voiced its support for Senator John McCain's Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013, which identifies and aims to address key issues facing the television industry.
  • CEO Kent: Suddenlink Prepared To Offer Better Targeted Packages (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/14)
    Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent signaled he is ready to deliver more tailored programming packages to subs if Washington can address the issue of bundled channels at the wholesale level.
  • ESPN Says It's Not Worried About A La Carte Or Competition (Tulsa World, 5/14)
    ESPN President John Skipper said Tuesday he isnít too worried about proposed legislation from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would allow consumers to pick what channels they want instead of buying a big package of networks.

For more ACA News visit the Newsroom on the ACA Website.

 About ACA  

Across this vast country, small and rural markets participate in the digital revolution by receiving video, broadband, and phone services from nearly 850 small and medium-sized independent operators represented by the American Cable Association (ACA).

ACAís members -- cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities -- deliver affordable basic and advanced services to more than 7 million households and businesses. ACA members operate in every state, offering high-definition television, next generation Internet access, and digital phone service.

Access to advanced communications is not a luxury but a critical necessity for consumers and companies, schools and hospitals. Americaís economic prosperity in smaller markets and rural areas depends on the growth and success of ACA members, who believe a connected nation, is a united nation.

The ACA asks lawmakers and regulators to ensure fair treatment so that small and medium-sized independent operators may continue to supply affordable video, broadband, and phone services to Main Street America. Through active participation in the policymaking process, ACA members and leaders advocate for the interests of their customers, their companies, and their communities to help ensure the continued viability of their way of life in hometown America.

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