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FCC Ex Parte regarding a National Broadband Plan, Commission Rules and Policies Governing Pole Attachments, et al.

Submission Date: 
09/09/2009
September 9, 2009
 
Ms. Marlene Dortch
Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
 
Via ECFS
 
Re: American Cable Association (“ACA”) Notice of Ex Parte Presentation; GN Docket No. 09-51, WC Docket No. 07-245, and MB Docket No. 07-269
 
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 with Commissioner
Meredith Attwell Baker’s Legal Advisors, William D. Freedman and Christi Shewman, 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 lowerincome 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.
 
     Participants further discussed the escalating year-to-year increases in retransmission consent
fees charged to smaller cable operators. Specifically, participants noted a recent survey of ACA’s
membership (submitted and detailed in the latest Video Competition Report proceeding), which
showed a 271% increase in year-to-year retransmission consent fees.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeremy M. Kissel
 
cc: William D. Freedman (via email)
Christi Shewman (via email)
Matt Polka
Steve Friedman
Ross Lieberman
Ted Hearn
AttachmentSize
090908 ACA Ex Parte Freedman Shewman FINAL.pdf230.05 KB

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