ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – June 23, 2010 

  Key Developments

ACA Seeks Conditions To Cure Horizontal and Vertical Harms Inherent In Comcast-NBCU Deal

The American Cable Association filed comments June 21 with the Federal Communications Commission that thoroughly detailed and quantified many of the most significant anti-competitive and consumer harms associated with the proposed joint venture between Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal if approved without conditions.

"Millions of consumers served by ACA members will see their cable rates rise sharply and will suffer through long and costly disputes over access to cable and broadcast programming if Comcast and NBCU Universal are permitted to merge free of any meaningful and enforceable conditions," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Calls For New Set-Top Box Rules To Advance Digital Services In Rural America

The American Cable Association is supporting the Federal Communications Commission's forward-thinking, consumer-friendly proposal to allow small cable operators to deploy inexpensive, HD-capable set-top boxes under a policy framework that seeks to speed cable's migration of channels from analog to digital format and advance the goal of faster broadband download speeds for consumers in deeply rural communities in the country.

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ACA Gains Access To Comcast-NBCU Records In Native Format

The American Cable Association is pleased that Comcast Corp. -- which is seeking Federal Communications Commission approval to merge with NBC Universal -- has agreed to provide the trade group with access to FCC-requested legal and business records in the exact same format that such data was provided to the agency.

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  News Headlines
  • FCC Trains Eyes On Satellite Services (The Washington Post, 06/18)
    The FCC announced Friday that it's focusing on using satellite services to spread mobile wireless access to more Americans.
  • FCC Moves Toward Deeper Broadband Role (The New York Times, 06/17)
    The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 on Thursday to move toward giving itself the authority to regulate the transmission component of broadband Internet service, a power the commission’s majority believes is central to expanding the availability of broadband.
  • Kerry & Co. Defend Title II From Budget Threat (Multichannel News, 06/15)
    A quartet of Democratic senators has asked the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee not to try to block the Federal Communications Commission majority's effort to classify the transmission element of broadband as a Title II common carrier service.
  • NCTA To FCC: End Set-Top Integration Ban (Multichannel News, 06/15)
    The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has offered up its short-term fixes to the CableCARD regime, including the suggestion that the Federal Communications Commission stop requiring any more cards to be deployed for a system the agency wants to phase out.
  • A Face-Off Over Sale Of Spectrum By FCC (The New York Times, 06/15)
    Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks exposed the communications difficulty that police, fire and other personnel had in a crisis, government and public safety officials have wrestled with how to rebuild the nation’s emergency networks.
  • Spectrum Crisis? What About Spectrum Co? (SNL, 06/14)
    With all the hand-wringing over how the FCC might wrest spectrum from the broadcast industry, should the government look for spectrum squatters?
  • Group Wants FCC To Stop Broadcasters From Pulling Signals During Retrans Disputes (Multichannel News, 06/14)
    The Sports Fan Coalition has asked the FCC to keep broadcasters from pulling signals during retransmisson-consent impasses, saying it is in the public's interest and pointing out that sports stadiums are often built with their tax money.
  • 22 Senators: FCC Plan 'Relegates' Countryside To 'Second Class' (The Hill, 06/14)
    The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) sweeping blueprint for expanding Internet access relegates rural areas to “second class” broadband capacity and widens the so-called digital divide, a bipartisan group of 22 senators charged in a letter to the FCC chairman.
  • Comcast/NBCU Deal To Be Judges On Evidence: DOJ (Reuters, 06/09)
    U.S. regulators will either challenge or allow Comcast's proposed takeover of NBC Universal on the evidence, U.S. Justice Department antitrust chief Christine Varney said on Wednesday.
  • Lawmakers Seek To Turn Down The Dial On Loud Television Commercials (The Washington Post, 06/09)
    The decades-long quest to lower the volume of television commercials may finally be nearing fruition.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page 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 900 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 about 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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