ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – February 23, 2011 

 Key Development  

ACA Applauds NARUC On Non-Discriminatory Access To Video Content

The American Cable Association commended the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) for adopting a resolution Feb. 16 that would urge the Federal Communications Commission to recommend that the Section 706 Joint Conference examine the impact of fair and non-discriminatory access to video content on the deployment of broadband in rural areas by smaller operators.

“The resolution, introduced by Indiana State Utility Commissioner Larry Landis, sent a timely and important message to policymakers and the industry that fair treatment for small providers and their subscribers residing in rural communities across the nation is a critical public policy objective,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “Small operators forced to pay these discriminatory fees have less capital to spend on vital network improvements, forcing rural consumers and business to wait longer than they should for Internet access services needed to compete in the global economy.”

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ACA Urges FCC Review Of TV Station Duopolies

The American Cable Association is urging the Federal Communications Commission to examine as part of a pending review of retransmission consent rules the anti-competitive impact of retransmission consent price increases resulting from joint negotiations involving separately owned multiple “Big 4” (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) broadcast affiliates in a single market.

In recent meetings with FCC officials, ACA also stressed the need to review retransmission consent price increases resulting from price discrimination practiced by cable and broadcast programming vendors in their dealings with small pay-TV providers.

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  News Headlines
  • House Passes Stopgap Bill That Would Stop FCC, CPB (Multichannel News, 2/19)
    The House of Representatives has passed the stopgap appropriations bill that would keep funding the government but defund the FCC's network neutrality rules and its chief diversity officer, while zerioing out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund noncommercial TV and radio stations.
  • House Approves Net Neutrality Rule-Blocking Amendment (Multichannel News, 2/17)
    The House late Thursday voted to approve an amendment that would block implementation of the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules.
  • FCC Investigating Fox Over Its Operation Of WWOR-TV (Los Angeles Times, 2/17)
    The Federal Communications Commission is investigating News Corp.'s Fox to determine if the company misled the regulatory agency with regards to the operations of its television station WWOR-TV in Seacaucus, N.J.
  • Rockefeller: Spectrum Bill Is The Top Priority For Senate Commerce (The Hill, 2/17)
    Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said Wednesday that his wireless bill is the "highest legislative priority for this committee."
  • NTIA: Broadband Map Proves Stimulus Wasn't Waste (The Hill, 2/17)
    A new map developed by the Commerce Department "validates" broadband stimulus spending that House Republicans have criticized as wasteful and misused, Commerce Department officials said Thursday.
  • Hardliners Clash At Net Hearing (Politico, 2/17)
    A House net neutrality hearing Wednesday shed light on a fundamental philosophical disagreement about the future of the Internet: is it government or industry that consumers should fear more?
  • NewWave To Buy Avenue Broadband (Multichannel News, 2/16)
    NewWave Communications said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to purchase Avenue Broadband, a small market MSO with customers in Indiana and Illinois.
  • Tech Firms, Best Buy Form Alliance To Push FCC AllVid Gateway (Multichannel News, 2/16)
    Seven companies -- Best Buy, Google, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Nagravision, SageTV, Sony Electronics and TiVo -- formed the AllVid Tech Company Alliance to lobby in favor of the FCC's proposal to require all pay-TV providers to conform to the same set of technical video interfaces.
  • Moonves: CBS Retrans Rev. To Double By '13 (TVNewsCheck, 2/16)
    Amid impressive fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 financial performance that underscores the strength of the recovery in the broadcast television sector, CBS Corp. executives set the stage for what could be heated negotiations with affiliates over reverse compensation.
  • Fox Fight Results in Q4 Sub Losses For Cablevision, But MSO Says Battle "Worth It" (Multichannel News, 2/16)
    Cablevision Systems shed about 35,000 basic video customers in the fourth quarter, losses that are almost entirely attributed to the MSO's high-profile retransmission consent battle with Fox broadcasting last year.
  • Time Warner Cable's Lakers Deal Is Bad News For Other Pay-TV Distributors (Los Angeles Times, 2/16)
    The news that Time Warner Cable has struck a 20-year deal that makes it the exclusive television broadcast rights holder to Los Angeles Lakers games starting with the 2012-13 season no doubt has other pay-TV providers in Southern California getting ready to guard their wallets.
  • CTIA, CEA: TV Spectrum Auction To Yield $33B (TVNewsCheck, 2/16)
    The FCC’s proposed auction of 120 MHz of “underutilized” broadcast TV spectrum will net more than $33 billion for the U.S. Treasury, the CTIA-The Wireless Association and Consumer Electronics Association say in a white paper submitted to the FCC.

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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