ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – January 20, 2010 

  Key Developments

ACA Proposes Net Neutrality Regime That Protects Consumers, Promotes Country's Digital Future

Net Neutrality  
With the Internet economy and America's digital future at stake, the American Cable Association proposed a series of important Net Neutrality policies designed to secure a balanced broadband ecosystem that protected the interests of consumers, safeguarded the benefits of an open Internet and preserved the incentive structure needed to justify the financial risk of deploying broadband facilities in rural, low-density communities.

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ACA Urges FCC To Reform USF While Keeping Special Needs of Small Voice Providers In Mind

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that voice providers with 100,000 service lines or fewer must not lose access to USF funding under any interpretation of ACA's own proposal that would eliminate subsidies to telephone carriers that face competition in their markets from entities not dependent on government financial support.

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ACA, Diverse Interests Urge Regulators To Impose Conditions On Comcast-NBC Universal Deal

The American Cable Association is urging regulators to scrutinize the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal transaction -- a deal that would create the country's most powerful online and traditional programming company -- and take appropriate action, whether through conditions or forced divestiture, to prevent the new programming giant from using its enhanced market power to raise prices and limit choices for consumers of small and medium-sized cable and broadband operators.

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  Year End Recap

2009 Timeline

For American Cable Association members, 2009 was a great year, demonstrating that if small operators speak with one voice and remain vigilant, positive results occur in the regulatory arena. Good examples include the Federal Communications Commission's decision to issue important set-top box waivers and the Rural Utilities Service's decision to allocate $800 million to fund middle-mile broadband infrastructure projects in underserved communities. Please check out this PDF timeline of 2009 success stories so you can review all the results for yourself.

  Industry Affairs

ACA's 17th Annual Summit

Summit Banner

  News Headlines
  • NTIA, RUS Simplify Rules for $4.8B in Broadband Funds (Multichannel News, 01/14)
    The National Telecommunications & Information Association and the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service have announced the second round of bidding--and in RUS' case, a third round--for the balance of broadband stimulus funding, even before it has announced most of the winners of the first round of bidding.
  • Supporters, Detractors Weigh In On FCC's Net Neutrality Principles (Multichannel News, 01/14)
    There wasn't anything neutral from the organizations expressing their opinions concerning the Federal Communications Commission's proposed codification and expansion of the four principles in its Internet policy statement.
  • Senate To Examine Broadcast-Cable Programming Contracts (The Hill, 01/13)
    Disputes between broadcasters and cable operators over program contracts will get attention in the Senate this year.
  • Media Bureau Dismisses Mediacom Retrans Complaint Against Sinclair (Multichannel News, 01/13)
    The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau dismissed Mediacom's retransmission consent complaint against Sinclair on Wednesday (Jan. 13).
  • FCC Commissioners Debate Usage-Based Pricing Models (Fiercewireless, 01/12)
    Usage-based pricing for mobile data may help ease congestion on wireless networks at a time when carriers are clamoring for more spectrum, FCC commissioners indicated. Though most wireless carriers have been pushing "unlimited" data plans on their 3G networks, Verizon Wireless recently indicated it likely would pursue a usage-based pricing scheme for its forthcoming LTE network.
  • "TV Everywhere" Takes Heat From Advocates (Multichannel News, 01/11)
    Washington — TV Everywhere, the cable industry’s collective effort to get more video content to a growing online audience, came under new fire last week from various advocacy groups, including Free Press, the Media Access Project and the publisher of Consumer Reports.
  • U.S. Judges Question FCC Authority In Comcast Case (Reuters, 01/08)
    WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. judges questioned the FCC's authority to punish Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) for blocking online file-sharing services on Friday in a case that could wind up curbing the regulators' campaign for a free and open Internet.
  • DirecTV Won't Give Cable Access to 3D Nets (, 01/07)
    It’s taken more than 15 years for DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) to make a major investment in original programming, but when it flips the switch on a trio of dedicated 3DTV networks, only DirecTV subscribers that have also shelled out money for new 3D-capable TVs will be able to watch.
  • FCC Wants More Time to Craft Broadband Plan (PC Magazine, 01/07)
    In a Thursday letter to Congress, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski requested additional time for the commission to deliver its national broadband plan.
  • Justice Department To Review Comcast, NBC Deal (Yahoo News, 01/06)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department will conduct an antitrust review of the proposed $30 billion joint venture between Comcast Corp and NBC Universal, department spokeswoman Gina Talamona said on Wednesday.

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 to nearly 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.

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