ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – January 26, 2011 

 Key Development  

ACA Commends FCC For Protecting Consumers In Comcast-NBCU License Transfer Order

The American Cable Association commended the Federal Communications Commission for imposing meaningful conditions on the transfer of licenses associated with the Comcast-NBC Universal transaction, benefiting consumers served by smaller communications providers that negotiate with the media giant for access to its most important content on the market.

"We applaud the FCC Chairman and Commissioners for producing an order faithful to the exacting review that FCC staff performed in response to transaction-specific harms demonstrated by ACA in numerous filings and economic studies during the past year," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Under Chairman Genachowski, the FCC has set a high standard by which future transactions involving media giants with formidable market power will be judged."

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ACA To FCC: Mobility Fund For Rural 3G Is Good Model For USF Reform

The American Cable Association has announced support for a Federal Communications Commission plan to provide limited funding for deployment of advanced wireless broadband networks in rural areas where private investment is unlikely to flow.

"Because the program as proposed by the FCC seeks to achieve a demonstrated need, is limited in scope and duration, and will distribute funding through competitive bidding, ACA believes the program can establish a valuable precedent for how the FCC should undertake reform of the much larger universal service fund," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines
  • What Next For Net Neutrality? Lawsuits Galore (The Washington Post, 1/24)
    After Verizon Communications announced last week a legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's controversial order, analysts say a lawsuit showdown is probably in the works.
  • Watch Out, ESPN: Comcast Forms Big Rival With NBC Universal (AOL Daily Finance, 1/24)
    Comcast’s (CMCSA) takeover of NBC Universal was approved, as expected, by the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, creating a media and entertainment colossus with a huge footprint in television, movies, the Internet and theme parks.
  • How Comcast Sealed The NBCU Deal (, 1/23)
    Comcast Corp.'s top strategists knew months ago that success in acquiring NBC Universal, despite the objections of a bevy of powerful opponents, rested with the little-known but lyrically named Mignon Clyburn.
  • Verizon Challenges FCC Rules On Net Neutrality (The Washington Post, 1/20)
    Verizon is challenging the Federal Communications Commission's new rules on Internet access with a federal lawsuit, the company announced Thursday.
  • Broadcasters Win One Round Against Ivi (TVNewsCheck, 1/20)
    A judge in the U.S. District Court in Seattle has granted a motion by Fisher Communications and other broadcasters and networks to dismiss ivi Inc.'s suit there, concluding that ivi improperly filed the Seattle suit in anticipation of being sued by broadcasters and others in another jurisdiction.
  • Comcast And NBC Venture Approved With Bevy Of Conditions (The Washington Post, 1/19)
    Federal regulators on Tuesday blessed Comcast's $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal, imposing a slew of conditions on everything from competition with rivals to the price of Internet service for poor families out of concern that the firm's vast sweep could harm consumers.
  • TV Broadcasters Resist FCC Proposal To Surrender More Airwaves (The Washington Post, 1/19)
    Many broadcasters are already worried about declining viewers, and now they say the government wants to take away something more: the airwaves themselves.
  • McDowell Backs Congressional Look At FCC Merger-Review Process (Multichannel News, 1/19)
    Senior Republican Federal Communications Commission commissioner Robert McDowell gave a shout-out Wednesday to a pledge by top House Republicans to review the FCC's merger-review process.
  • Retrans Tops TV's Biggest Business Issues (The Hollywood Reporter, 1/14)
    Disgusted that a video rental store raked him over the coals for returning a movie late, Reed Hastings created Netflix.
  • CEA's Shapiro: Broadcasters Have Terrified Hill With Power To Demonize Legislators (Broadcasting & Cable, 1/14)
    Gary Shapiro, president & CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, continued to push for reclaiming broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband Friday, saying broadcasters had "terrified" Congress with their power to demonize legislators over the airwaves.
  • Stearns Planning 'Agressive And Rigorous' Oversight (The Hill, 1/14)
    Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) says he is planning an "aggressive and rigorous" agenda for the House Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee.

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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