ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – March 31, 2010 

  Key Developments

ACA Applauds FCC's New Effort On Retransmission Consent Reform

The American Cable Association applauded the Federal Communications Commission's recent decision to conduct a pro-consumer review of its current retransmission consent policies, but the trade group warned that millions of consumers would not obtain badly needed relief if broadcasters can continue to charge small cable providers much more per subscriber than larger pay-TV distributors competing in the same market.

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FCC's National Broadband Plan Embraces ACA Proposals

National Broadband  
The American Cable Association commended the Federal Communications Commission for producing a forward-looking National Broadband Plan (NBP) that incorporated several key policy recommendations that ACA proposed in an effort to make more efficient use of federal money without overlooking the needs of smaller providers with facilities deployed in thinly populated rural communities.

"ACA is pleased to see a number of areas where the FCC's proposals align closely with suggestions ACA proposed to the agency," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  Industry Affairs

ACA's 17th Annual Summit

ACA's 17th Annual Summit

Join us for the only Washington, DC association event focused on traditional and online programming and equipment issues impacting independent operators. Retransmission Consent, the Comcast-NBCU deal, TV Everywhere, and Set Top Box reform, these are just a few of the issues that will be discussed by top policymakers and industry executives at the American Cable Association’s 17th Annual Summit. If you’re an insider who tracks these matters, you can’t afford to miss this event that features a top-notch lineup of regulators and industry heads, including:

  • Blair Levin, Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative
  • Roger Sherman, Chief Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Brian Hendricks, Chief Counsel, Senate Commerce Committe
  • Seth Bloom, General Counsel, Senate Antitrust Subcommittee
  • Sherrese Smith, Media Advisor for FCC Chairman Genachowski
  • Rick Kaplan, Media Advisor for FCC Commissioner Clyburn
  • Brad Gillen, Media Advisor for FCC Commissioner Baker
  • David Donovan, President, Association of Maximum Service Television (MSTV)
  • Matthew M. Polka, President & CEO, American Cable Association
  • Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
  • Tyrone Brown, President & CEO, Media Access Project
  • John Rose, President, Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO)
  • And more...
  • When: April 20, 2010
    7AM - 3:15 PM

    Where: Gaylord National Harbor Hotel
    201 Waterfront Street
    National Harbor, MD

    REGISTER NOW! (Includes breakfast and lunch)

    Check out the full list of sessions and speakers!

  News Headlines
  • Lawmakers Warn Against Regulation After U.S. Internet Plan (BusinessWeek, 03/25)
    Republican lawmakers said the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to expand high-speed Internet shouldn’t be followed with broad regulations.
  • Key Lawmaker Backs FCC's Spectrum Plan (Reuters, 03/25)
    A key U.S. lawmaker expressed support on Thursday for a proposal by communications regulators to give auction proceeds to broadcasters as an incentive to give up some airwaves highly sought by wireless broadband providers.
  • Broadband Plan's Price Tag: $20 Million (The Hill, 03/25)
    Under the Recovery Act, the FCC was directed to come up with a long-range strategy for expanding broadband access across the country. The 350-page plan, which took nearly a year to complete, was delivered to Congress last week.
  • Genachowski: Public TV Would Be Shielded From Any Forced Spectrum Reclamation (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/25)
    Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that public TV stations would be protected from any involuntary reallocation of broadcast spectrum, not that he was saying he thought the FCC would be forcing any broadcaster off their spectrum.
  • Verizon Calls On Congress To Rethink Internet Oversight, Could Take Away Power From FCC (The Washington Post, 03/24)
    Verizon Communications is calling on Congress to rethink the way the federal government oversees Internet services, witih recommendations that could take away power from the Federal Communications Commission just one week after it unveiled a decade-long plan to bring broadband Internet to the nation.
  • Senate Commerce Committee Approves Cybersecurity Act (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/24)
    The Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday voted to approve the Cybersecurity Act (S. 773), which would take steps to modernize and coordinate public/private efforts to protect networks and information in a broadband world filled with online threats at home and abroad.
  • Court Lifts Ban On Media Ownership Restrictions (Associated Press, 03/24)
    A federal court has at least temporarily lifted government rules that blocked media companies from owning a newspaper and a broadcast TV station in the same market.
  • Broadband Plan Hit Over Competition (TVNewsCheck, 03/24)
    The sweeping national broadband plan that federal regulators delivered to Congress last week doesn't go far enough to satisfy some experts who warn that the United States would still trail other industrialized nations in prices and speed.
  • Boucher To Draft Spectrum Auction Bill (, 03/23)
    The FCC's national broadband plan could get a boost from possible House legislation that would grant the agency authority to implement one of its core recommendations: creating a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety officials, CongressDaily reported.
  • MAP, Others Seeks Extension Of Comcast/NBCU Deadlines (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/22)
    Media Access Project has asked the FCC to extend its deadlines for petitions to deny, comments and reply comments on the proposed Comcast/NBCU merger.
  • The FCC's Visible Hand (The Washington Post, 03/21)
    By the Federal Communications Commission's own account, broadband use in the United States has exploded over the past decade: "Fueled primarily by private sector investment and innovation, the American broadband ecosystem has evolved rapidly. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from eight million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year."
  • Malone Sees Pay-TV Industry Consolidation As Fee Disputes Mount (BusinessWeek, 03/19)
    Media billionaire John Malone said fee disputes between U.S. broadcasters and cable-television operators will force companies to combine to gain negotiating clout.
  • Boucher Still Working Toward Network Neutrality Legislation (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/19)
    Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) said Thursday that he continues to work toward network neutrality legislation and remains solidly behind a free and open internet, but does not think network neutrality should be part of the national broadband plan.
  • Cable Firms Face Challenges In FCC Plan (, 03/17)
    The Federal Communications Commission aims to make it easier for consumers to buy TV set-top boxes, not lease them from pay-TV firms, and wants future boxes to pipe Web content into living rooms.
  • Comcast Won't Make Promises About Your Cable Bill, Has No Problem With Bundling (Los Angeles Times, 03/16)
    News flash: Comcast won't promise to tie its cable rate increases to inflation.

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 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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