ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – May 18, 2011 

 Key Development  

ACA Applauds Eshoo's Broadband Conduit Bill

Rep. Eshoo  
The American Cable Association applauded introduction of House legislation that would require the installation of broadband conduit in road construction projects funded with federal money, in an effort to reduce or eliminate below-surface digging by communications companies that intend to deploy fiber optic cables or similar Internet-access infrastructure.

The bill, known as the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2011, was introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, with support from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

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ACA Officials Salute Retiring Sen. Kohl As Champion of Competition

Sen. Kohl  
Four-term Senator Herb Kohl said May 13 that he will not seek re-election in 2011, a retirement announcement that prompted American Cable Association officials to honor the Wisconsin Democrat’s service as a champion of consumers and competition in communications markets across the country.

ACA Vice Chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah, who is Chairwoman & CEO of WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone, issued a statement hailing Kohl’s dedication and commitment to principles that benefit all Americans.

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  News Headlines
  • FCC Commissioner Baker Defends Move To Comcast As Backlash Grows (Los Angeles Times, 5/13)
    Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defended her decision to leave the regulatory agency to take a job at Comcast Corp. just months after voting yes on the cable giant's heavily scrutinized acquisition of General Electric Co.'s NBCUniversal.
  • ATVA: Fox Hardball Needs Softening (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/13)
    The American Television Alliance says that Fox's affiliation moves are the latest evidence that the retransmission consent system needs to be reformed.
  • FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker To Join Comcast (The New York Times, 5/13)
    Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved a hotly contested merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said on Wednesday that she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office.
  • FCC Proposes Broadband Outage Reporting (Braodcasting & Cable, 5/12)
    The FCC voted Thursday to propose requiring interconnected VOiP and broadband ISPs to report broadband network outages.
  • New Senate Bill Would Criminalize Illegal TV Show Streaming (Multichannel News, 5/12)
    A bipartisan trio of Senators Thursday introduced a bill that would make illegally streaming TV shows or movies a felony.
  • Frontier Dumps FiOS Cable TV: What Happened? (Communications Technology, 5/12)
    Less than a year after paying a handsome $8.6 billion in stock for Verizon’s FiOS assets in portions of 14 states, Frontier Communications has decided to trash the cable-TV piece of the FiOS properties it purchased.
  • Sen. Rockefeller: No Forces TV Spectrum Reclamation (Multichannel News, 5/12)
    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.) says he wants to get an incentive auction/emergency communications network bill passed by June, and certainly before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. But he also says broadcasters will not be forced of spectrum in the process.
  • GAO: NTIA Needs To Improve Spectrum Efficiency Oversight (Multichannel News, 5/12)
    The National Telecommunications & Information Administration "cannot ensure that spectrum is being used efficiently by federal agencies."
  • Fox Playing Hardball With Balky Affils (TVNewsCheck, 5/11)
    Fox Networks’ new affiliation deals in Evansville, Ind., and Boise, Idaho, reflect the evolving business model for network television, not a warning shot across the bow of recalcitrant affiliates, says a Fox executive.
  • Nexstar's Fox Retrans Talks Still In Neutral (TVNewsCheck, 5/11)
    Nexstar Broadcasting’s nearly year-long standoff with Fox Television over divvying up retransmission fees continues, Nexstar President-CEO Perry Sook acknowledged during this morning’s first-quarter earnings conference call.
  • AT&T, T-Mobile Chiefs Grilled On Merger Plan (The Washington Post, 5/11)
    Senate lawmakers grilled the chief executives of AT&T and T-Mobile on Wednesday on their proposed $39 million merger, questioning whether the deal would lead to less competition and higher prices for consumers.
  • Sen. Kerry Jumps Into City of Boston-Comcast Cable Fight (The Boston Globe, 5/10)
    Senator John F. Kerry in joining Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in seeking answers today about cable rate increases in the city.
  • Apple, Google Defend Location-Gathering Practices Before Seante Panel (SNL,5/10)
    Representatives of Apple Inc. and Google Inc. appeared May 10 before a Senate subcommittee to detail and defend their companies' practices of collecting, storing and using individuals' location information on mobile devices.

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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