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Small Cable Operators Need DTV Exemptions

American Cable Association Requests Dual Carriage Relief for Small Systems

PITTSBURGH, March 5, 2008 - In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission today, the American Cable Association (ACA) officially responded to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) opposition of ACA's March 3rd request for a small operator exemption from burdensome dual-carriage requirements.

In a March 3rd filing, (available here) the ACA requested the FCC exempt (i) systems serving 5,000 or fewer subscribers, or (ii) systems with less than 552 MHz of capacity from the must-carry obligation. ACA cited the significant financial and capacity burdens the dual-carriage requirement would place on systems serving small and rural markets, and the added flexibility that an exemption would offer these cable systems to direct resources and capacity to providing consumers with broadband and other advanced services. In today's filing, (available here) the ACA further detailed the extent of that burden and adverse impact it would have on small operators and the communities they serve.

"We aren't asking for a hand out or a free pass," ACA President and CEO, Matthew Polka said. "What we are asking for is the rational exemption policy that would prevent small cable operators from the hardship of participating in an uncertain and cost legal process. It is not reasonable to expect an operator serving a rural community of 100 homes has the system capacity to comply with this requirement or the resources to petition the FCC for a waiver."

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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing 1,100 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit www.americancable.org.

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NAB Response 080305 FINAL.pdf51.04 KB

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