September 9, 2009
Ms. Marlene Dortch
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Re: American Cable Association (“ACA”) Notice of Ex Parte Presentation; GN
Docket No. 09-51 and WC Docket No. 07-245
Dear Ms. Dortch:
Pursuant to Section 1.1206 of the Commission’s rules, we are electronically filing this letter in the dockets referenced above as notice of a September 8, 2009 meeting between Thomas Koutsky of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Ian Dillner of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Kris Monteith of the Enforcement Bureau, and Rebekah Goodheart of the Media Bureau, and the following persons:
Steve Friedman, Chairman, ACA; Chief Operating Officer, Wave Broadband
Matthew M. Polka, President and Chief Executive Officer, ACA
Ross J. Lieberman, Vice President of Government Affairs, ACA
Ted Hearn, Vice President of Communications, ACA
Jeremy M. Kissel, Cinnamon Mueller, Outside Counsel for ACA
During the meeting, participants discussed the difficulty independent cable operators have in obtaining non-discriminatory access to pole attachments at reasonable and non-discriminatory rates, terms, and conditions. Participants also discussed the “closed Internet” business models such as Walt Disney Company’s ESPN360 service, which ACA has described in its filings in the National Broadband Plan proceeding.
ACA representatives also stressed that broadband access providers should not be impeded from offering flexible-pricing models. ACA distributed a recent study by economists Kevin A. Hassett and Robert J. Shapiro of Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy, which concludes that flat-rate pricing plans for broadband will slow broadband adoption among lower income Americans.
The Hassett-Shapiro study examines how fast the country could achieve universal
broadband access under conditions where network providers used flat-rate billing with unlimited
usage or flexible-rate plans that charged high-bandwidth consumers more than occasional users.
The study concluded that flat-rate plans forced network providers to recoup their network upgrade costs from all users equally, increased the cost of broadband for everyone, and made it more difficult for price-sensitive consumers to purchase a broadband subscription.
A copy of the Hassett-Shapiro study is being filed with this Notice of Ex Parte Presentation.
Jeremy M. Kissel
cc: Thomas Koutsky (via email)
Ian Dillner (via email)
Kris Monteith (via email)
Rebekah Goodheart (via email)