ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – September 01, 2010 

 Key Developments  

ACA Unveils Specific Comcast-NBCU Conditions

Pole Fees  
The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to impose a range of conditions on the Comcast-NBC Universal transaction to prevent the unprecedented media combination from using programming and distribution dominance to undermine competition by greatly escalating the price of cable and broadcast channels that market rivals, including ACA members, must purchase to remain in business.

"The Comcast-NBCU joint venture is the most serious threat to the media ecosystem in at least a decade, justifying regulatory intervention to prevent the media giant from harming competitors and their subscribers through the exercise of undue market power obtained as a result of the deal. Without the adoption of ACA's proposed conditions, Comcast-NBCU will have unmatched leverage in traditional and online media markets to harm competitive cable and satellite operators by driving up their programming costs to very troublesome levels," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "With the risks so high, the FCC must not fail to protect consumers."

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ACA Supports Modernized Pole Attachment Rules

Pole Attachment  
The American Cable Association applauded the Federal Communications Commission for promoting broadband deployment through revised pole attachment regulations, but strongly opposed any increase in attachment rates that cable operators currently pay for providing commingled video and Internet services.

"To maintain leadership in deploying broadband in rural America, ACA members need to access poles at low and stable prices in order for the price of high-speed Internet access to remain affordable for all consumers. An increase in pole fees will have a financially punishing and disproportionate impact on rural broadband providers, which rely on poles far more than urban providers and have fewer subscribers to absorb the impact of rising fees," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines
  • Time Warner Cable, Disney Set TV Deal (New York Post, 08/30)
    Time Warner Cable and Walt Disney Co. have "come to terms" on a carriage agreement, 10 days before the opening of the NFL regular season and on the verge of the fall TV season, according to a person close to the talks.
  • FCC Appeals Ruling That Tossed Its Indecency Rules (Los Angeles Times, 08/26)
    When it comes to indecency, the Federal Communications Commission would rather fight than switch.
  • How The FCC Can Best Regulate The Internet (The Washington Post, 08/26)
    For more than a decade, "net neutrality" -- a commitment not to discriminate in the transmission of Internet content -- has been a rule tacitly understood by Internet users and providers alike.
  • Verizon: Nondiscrimination, Prioritization Proposals Are Stronger Than Title II (Multichannel News, 08/25)
    A top Verizon spokesman said Wednesday that the company's proposals on nondiscrimination and the presumption against prioritization on any Internet network connections were stronger than the FCC could achieve through Title II reclassification.
  • ESPN Charges Broadband Firms For Access To Site (Yahoo! Finance, 08/24)
    Walt Disney is catching flak at the Federal Communications Commission over the growing broadband clout of its ESPN TV sports network.
  • FCC Chief Says He's Still Firmly For Net Neutrality (, 08/24)
    The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission renewed his support for "net neutrality" during a broadband forum Tuesday at the University of Minnesota.
  • Tech Groups Slam Peace Deal Between Broadcasters, Record Labels (The Hill, 08/23)
    Six technology trade groups wrote to lawmakers on Monday to oppose a deal that could end a decades-long standoff between broadcasters and the recording industry.
  • The Sofa Wars: Plenty To Watch Online, But Viewers Prefer To Pay For Cable (The New York Times, 08/23)
    It is a fantasy shared by many Americans: dropping cable television and its fat monthly bills and turning instead to the wide-open frontier of Internet video.
  • NFL Network Tackles NCTC Master Agreement (Multichannel News, 08/22)
    NFL Network has scored a long-term carriage pact with the National Cable Television Cooperative. The master agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, will enable NCTC members to strike agreements for NFL Network, as well as its NFL RedZone scoring channel.
  • NBC Affils Defend Comcast-NBC Merger (TVNewsCheck, 08/20)
    The NBC affiliate association rose to the defense of the Comcast-NBC merger in FCC comments, rebutting charges of some critics that the deal would result in the migration of major sports from NBC to Comcast cable networks and would weaken local broadcast news and public affairs.
  • US Gets Worried About Huawei (Light Reading Mobile, 08/20)
    Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's push into the US hit another rough patch this week when eight senators called on the Obama administration to investigate whether national security would be compromised if the China-based supplier sold gear to Sprint Nextel Corp. which has contracts with domestic military and government agencies.

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 7.6 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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