ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – April 21, 2011 

 Key Development  

Colleen Abdoulah, Chairwoman & CEO of WOW!, Named ACA Vice Chairwoman

Colleen Abdoulah, Chairwoman & CEO of WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone, has been named Vice Chairwoman of the American Cable Association, the second-highest leadership position in the organization that was held by James Bruder, CEO of Harron Communications, for the past four years, the trade group announced.

"Colleen is one of the most talented and visionary executives in the cable television industry, and I congratulate her on being named ACA's new Vice Chairwoman. I truly appreciate that Colleen is so willing to assume such an important role with so much at stake for ACA members and the millions of consumers they serve in hometown America," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Urges FCC To Create Fiscally And Competitively Sound Broadband Fund

In general support of government plans to offer all Americans affordable broadband Internet access, the American Cable Association provided comment on April 18 that includes recommendations on how best to structure the new Connect America Fund for broadband support proposed by the Federal Communications Commission. ACA urged the FCC to rebalance its proposals to ensure that the new fund will be fiscally responsible and competitively neutral.

"ACA endorses the FCC's effort to design Universal Service Fund programs that embrace affordable and universal broadband as the primary objective. Because taxpayer dollars support the USF program, it is critical for the FCC to create a broadband fund that is efficient and does not skew local markets by funding providers whose direct competitors are unable to receive USF money," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Presses FCC To Block TV Station Triopoly In Topeka, Kansas

The American Cable Association is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to prevent the possibility of a massive TV signal blackout in the Topeka, Kansas, market very early next year by disallowing the local ABC affiliate from jointly negotiating retransmission consent with any other station in the market.

"Come the end of the year when carriage contracts are set to expire, several ACA members serving thousands of Topeka consumers could lose access to the ABC, NBC and FOX stations all at once, if the FCC permits these economically dominant stations to act as a triopoly in negotiating retransmission consent," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "With the loss of three Big Four stations an unacceptable business risk, ACA members would be forced to bow to the Topeka triopoly's `blackout or blackmail' strategy and would end up paying much higher fees for retransmission consent than if they had been able to negotiate with each station separately."

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ACA Comments On Cost Burdens Of FCC Open Internet Rules

Responding to the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules, the American Cable Association believes the agency has substantially underestimated the likely information collection burdens on small cable operators that will need to answer complaints and disclose their network management practices.

“While ACA is pleased that the FCC declined to require our members to comply with Title II common carrier rules, the FCC should ensure that compliance costs with its Open Internet framework are kept to a minimum and do not disproportionately burden small, independent cable operators,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka.

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  News Headlines

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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