PITTSBURGH, June 3, 2015 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the FCC's decision to adopt a rebuttable presumption that cable systems are subject to effective competition nationally:
"The pay television market has changed dramatically over the past two decades, and the FCC should be commended for promptly and fully carrying out Congress' instruction (enacted last year) to streamline certain rules that were particularly harmful to smaller cable operators and their customers.
"By eliminating a 22-year-old presumption that cable operators do not face effective competition, the FCC will save independent cable operators from incurring the large legal and data-collection costs to demonstrate to the FCC's satisfaction that they face stiff competition from both Dish and DirecTV and in many cases from AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS.
Although disappointed that all aspects of the Order did not receive unanimous support, ACA appreciates that all five FCC Commissioners agreed that the new presumption in favor of effective competition was appropriate for smaller cable operators.
"Regulation is used as a proxy for competition. When robust competition exists as it does in the pay-TV market, regulations do more harm to consumer welfare than good. The FCC made the right call and showed everyone that a regulatory agency has the will to take regulation off autopilot.
"ACA also applauds the hundreds of lawmakers who voted last year in favor of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR), which directed the FCC to make it easier for smaller operators to obtain a determination of effective competition in their communities. ACA especially appreciates the continued support of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and their recognition of the fact that consumers benefit from a balanced marketplace in which rules do not limit consumer choice."
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 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 http://www.americancable.org/
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