ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue – August 8, 2013 

 Key Developments  

With Massive CBS Blackout, ACA Urges Congress, FCC To Protect Consumers

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued on Aug. 5 the following statement regarding CBS' decision to black out Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks at 5 p.m. EDT on August 2, 2013:

"The action taken by CBS to black out millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers validates ACA's oft-stated position that the rules governing retransmission consent are outdated and need to reflect current market conditions.

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ACA Applauds FCC Nomination Of Michael O'Rielly

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued on Aug. 2 the following statement on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Michael P. O’Rielly to serve on the Federal Communications Commission:

"ACA applauds President Obama on the nomination of Michael P. O'Rielly to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, and we look forward to working with him at the FCC. Known for his broad knowledge and experience, Mr. O'Rielly has worked with ACA for many years on a score of communications matters - including video, phone, and broadband - pending before key Congressional Committees. He is an excellent choice for the job, along with Chairman-designate Tom Wheeler, to bring the FCC once again to a full complement of five voting members. ACA encourages the Senate to confirm both nominees without delay."

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ACA Re-Elects Five Board Members At The Independent Show

The American Cable Association has re-elected five Board Members, each to a three-year term, by a confidential vote of ACA Members. The results were announced at The Independent Show in San Diego on Monday, July 29.

Elected on the first ballot were:

  • Patty Jo Boyers, BOYCOM (Length of Board Service: 6 years)
  • Martin Brophy, Service Electric Cablevision (12 years);
  • John Conrad, Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico (2 years);
  • David Keefe, Atlantic Broadband (4 years); and
  • Earle MacKenzie, Shentel (2 years)

The election results were announced by ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka at ACA’s Annual Membership Meeting as part of the 8th Independent Show program. The Independent Show is the leading communications industry forum co-hosted by ACA and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), a Lenexa, Kansas-based group that purchases programming and equipment for U.S. cable operators.

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ACA Presents Prestigious Awards At 8th Independent Show

The American Cable Association honored several ACA members at this year's 8th Independent Show, presenting awards to recognize their critical support for the trade group and the cause of providing high-quality voice, video and broadband Internet service to hometown America.

"The individuals and companies that ACA honored with its highest awards are exceptionally talented and dedicated, and I salute them all for the accolades that they so richly deserve," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "ACA is a successful organization, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, because ACA Members remain firmly committed to achieving positive public policy results and providing the resources to help us prevail on the key issues."

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ACA Supports Further Opening Of 5 GHz Band To Next Gen Wi-Fi

The American Cable Association supports the effort of the Federal Communications Commission to open further the 5 GHz band to unlicensed Wi-Fi service, telling the FCC that such a move would relieve congestion in the 2.4 GHz band and create the bandwidth needed to allow Wi-Fi transmission speeds to hit 1 Gigabit per second.

"Unlicensed Wi-Fi use of spectrum has burgeoned over the past decade, becoming an essential element to providing ubiquitous high-speed broadband service," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Accordingly, to ensure this fundamental technology can meet exploding consumer demand, it is imperative that the FCC allocate sufficient unlicensed spectrum and establish rules that facilitate connectivity."

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ACA To FCC: No Proven Need For Dedicated Customer Support Related To Video Description, Emergency Info

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to refrain from adopting rules that would require multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide support services specifically designed to assist customers in accessing video description or emergency information content on a secondary audio stream.

"ACA maintains that the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) provided no direction for the FCC to impose such a requirement; there is no evidence such a requirement is necessary; and it would be exceedingly burdensome for small operators to commit the necessary resources for such dedicated customer support," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines

  • CBS, Time Warner Cable Feud Boils Over (The Motley Fool, 8/3)
    In an unprecedented move for CBS, unproductive negotiations with cable provider Time Warner Cable have led CBS to take its channels -- including Showtime, TMC, and Smithsonian -- off the air in several markets around the country, the two companies recently announced.
  • CBS Blackout May Last Until Sept: Analysts (Reuters, 8/4)
    The blackout that began on Friday, when Time Warner Cable dropped the No. 1-rated U.S. broadcast network, has affected an estimated 3.5 million customers, including golf fans who missed Tiger Woods' victory in the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
  • DirecTV Sides With Time Warner Over CBS Fee Dispute (Huffington Post, 8/3)
    In an unusual show of solidarity between rivals, satellite TV provider DirecTV issued a statement on Saturday applauding Time Warner Cable's decision to drop CBS programming from its lineup in the nation's two largest markets after the two failed to reach an agreement over fees.
  • VoIP From Wave Broadband Provides Alternative To Traditional Phone Systems (, 8/2)
    When the Kitsap Children’s Clinic in Silverdale needs to reach its Port Orchard office, all a staffer has to do is dial an extension. And callers can get transferred to the Port Orchard location simply by dialing 2 after calling the Silverdale number.
  • Cox Said To Discuss Merger With Malone-Backed Charter (Bloomberg, 8/2)
    Cox Communications Inc., the third-largest U.S. cable provider, has held talks about combining with Charter Communications Inc. according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
  • Report: Cox Memo Denies Meetings With Liberty, Charter (Multichannel News, 8/3)
    An internal memo to Cox Communications employees denied speculation that company CEO Patrick Esser had preliminary talks with Liberty Media concerning a possible merger, a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Friday.
  • Is The FCC Making A Move To Stop TV Groups From Getting Any Bigger? (Adweek, 8/2)
    Acting Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Mignon Clyburn may have turned activist.
  • Obama Nominates Michael P. O'Rielly To GOP Seat On FCC (Variety, 8/1)
    President Obama has nominated Michael P. O’Rielly, an advisor to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, to fill a Republican vacancy on the FCC.
  • Dish Hit With 53-Station Blackout In Fight With Raycom (Variety, 8/1)
    In the latest blowup over broadcast TV retransmission fees, Dish Network customers in 36 markets lost access to 53 television stations owned by Raycom Media after the companies failed to reach a new deal by midnight Wednesday.
  • The 411 On Aereo's Many Legal Challenges (TVNewsCheck, 8/1)
    Aereo Inc. makes headlines now because it provides TV stations' signals and programs to paying customers, without permission from or compensation to the stations.
  • Comcast To Test New Usage-Based Internet Tier In Fresno (Multichannel News, 8/1)
    Comcast is preparing to test out an optional, usage-based Internet tier in Fresno, Calif., tailored to light Internet users that will cap monthly usage at 5 Gigabytes per month before customers are subjected to per-gigabyte fees.

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).

ACA’s 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. America’s 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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