ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – December 08, 2010 

 Key Development  

ACA Vows To Work With FCC On Net Neutrality Rules

Net Neutrality  
The Federal Communications Commission is planning to move forward with Net Neutrality rules that would prohibit phone and cable companies from blocking or discriminating against Internet traffic on their broadband networks.

The vote, scheduled for Dec. 21, was announced Dec. 1 by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has decided against regulating broadband access providers as common carriers under Title II provisions of federal telecommunications law that were created to oversee monopoly phone carriers many decades ago.

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ACA Members Call For Strong Comcast-NBCU Conditions

Comcast-NBCU  
More than 40 American Cable Association members filed a letter with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski arguing that the Comcast-NBCU merger would, if approved without meaningful conditions, result in their having to pay much higher prices for must-have content, such as regional sports networks and national cable networks.

"Regulators have an obligation to look past Comcast and NBCU's self-serving assurances and must mitigate the obvious public interest harms of their massive media merger by imposing granite-strong conditions that are guaranteed to prevent the predictable above-market spikes in programming costs to consumers of small cable operators," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines
  • ESPN Finds Few Cutting Cord On Cable (The New York Times, 12/05)
    Seeking to understand the cutting of cable cords, ESPN has waded into the Nielsen Company’s audience sample and concluded that the cancellations are currently a “very minor” phenomenon.
  • GE, Comcast Extend NBC Deal As Companies Await Government Approval (The Wall Street Journal, 12/03)
    General Electric Co. (GE) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, CMCSK) on Friday approved a three-month extension of their roughly $13.75 billion merger transaction for NBC Universal, as the companies await government approval for the deal. ...
  • FCC Chair's Net Neutrality Push Faces Uphill Battle (The Washington Post, 12/01)
    A controversial net neutrality proposal drew immediate criticism by Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission and tempered support by Democratic allies, highlighting the difficulty Chairman Julius Genachowski will have forming new rules.
  • FTC Recommends 'Do Not Track' Program In Internet Privacy Report (The Washington Post, 12/01)
    The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday released a much-anticipated report outlining recommendations to protect the privacy of consumers on the Internet, including establishment of a "Do Not Track" mechanism.
  • Comcast-Level 3 Dispute Highlights Crucial 'Peering' Deals (The Wall Street Journal, 12/01)
    The dispute between Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, CMCSK) sheds light on a little-known but crucial string of agreements known as "peering" that keeps Internet traffic flowing around the world.
  • FCC Chair Announces Net Neutrality Push Without Re-Asserting Role Over Broadband Internet (The Washington Post, 12/01)
    The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to announce Wednesday a controversial proposal that would prohibit Internet providers from favoring or discriminating against any traffic that goes over their networks.
  • Consumers Union Urges Government To Block NBC-Comcast Merger (The Hill, 11/30)
    The nonprofit consumer watchdog Consumers Union is stepping up its campaign against the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal in Washington this week.
  • Comcast: National Nets Should Not Be Part Of Arbitration Regime (Broadcasting & Cable, 11/30)
    Comcast would prefer that the FCC not impose outside arbitration conditions on its proposed joint venture with NBCU. If it does, however, the company says it should not apply them to national cable network negotiations.
  • FCC Opens TV Spectrum For Broadband Use (Television Broadcast, 11/30)
    The Federal Communications Commission today took the first step to open television broadcast spectrum for broadband use.
  • Coalitions Coalesce To Criticize Comcast/NBCU (Broadcasting & Cable, 11/29)
    NetCoalition, a group representing Google and Amazon.com among others, has joined with the Coalition for Competition in Media (CCM) to push collectively against the Comcast/NBCU merger as currently constituted.
  • Modern Manufacturer Alleges Comcast Policy Violates FCC Regulation (Online Media Daily, 11/29)
    A modem manufacturer is accusing Comcast of violating the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality principles by recently implementing rigorous and unnecessary testing standards that effectively limit consumers' ability to purchase cable modems from retail outlets.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page on the ACA website.

  About ACA




ACA_new.jpg
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.

For more information, visit www.americancable.org, or contact:

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