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Small Cable Presses Need for DTV Relief

American Cable Association Affirms the Case for Dual-Carriage Exemptions


PITTSBURGH, March 17, 2008-Today, the American Cable Association (ACA) filed reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission further detailing the extent of the burden and adverse impact that dual-carriage requirements would have on small cable systems and the communities they serve. ACA's filing addresses the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) unreasonable opposition of ACA's March 2nd request for a small operator exemption from burdensome dual must-carry requirements.

In its March 2nd filing, ACA requested the FCC exempt (i) systems serving 5,000 or fewer subscribers, and (ii) systems with 552 MHz of capacity or less from the obligation to carry the digital version of a must-carry signal in addition to the analog version. 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.

"We aren't asking for a free pass," ACA President and CEO, Matthew M. Polka said. "What we are asking for is a rational exemption policy that recognizes that small cable systems do not have the resources to comply with a dual-carriage obligation, and that requiring them to spend thousands of dollars on filing and legal fees to participate in a costly waiver process is wasteful. Exemptions are reasonable and appropriate for these small systems. It is not reasonable to expect a system serving a rural community of a few hundred homes to have the capacity to comply with this requirement, or the resources to purchase expensive equipment to provide a duplicate version of a must-carry signal."

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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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