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ACA, NCTA Intend To Support The FCC In Effective Competition Court Challenge Brought By NAB And LFAs

Trade Groups Say FCC Move Justified By Dramatic Market Changes

PITTSBURGH, September 28, 2015 - ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka and National Cable & Telecommunications Association President & CEO Michael K. Powell issued the following statement on  regarding support in federal court of the Federal Communications Commission with regard to the agency's newly adopted rebuttable presumption that all cable systems are subject to "effective competition" -- a determination that the National Association of Broadcasters and local franchising authorities (LFAs) have challenged in court:  

"With the consent of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, ACA and NCTA intend to support the FCC's presumption that all cable systems face 'effective competition' in their local markets. ACA and NCTA believe the FCC acted correctly in response to dramatic changes in the pay-TV market that persist to this day and in response to mandates in the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) that Congress passed less than a year ago. 

"The FCC's decision to reverse the 22-year-old presumption that cable operators do not face 'effective competition' was based on compelling evidence that Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) providers DirecTV and Dish Network have created nationwide competition in the marketplace for multichannel video programming distribution -- a fact that has been borne out by the FCC finding that effective competition exists in the 'vast majority' of franchise areas it has reviewed since 2013.

"ACA and NCTA agree with the FCC that a presumption of 'effective competition' will reduce the regulatory burdens on all cable operators and will alleviate unnecessary burdens on the FCC, without diminishing the rights of LFAs to produce evidence that effective competition does not exist in a particular community." 

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 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/

About NCTA: NCTA is the principal trade association for the U.S. cable industry, representing cable operators serving more than 80 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks. The cable industry is the nation's largest provider of high-speed Internet access, serving more than 56 million customers, after investing $230 billion since 1996 to build two-way interactive networks with fiber optic technology. Cable companies also provide state-of-the-art digital telephone service to more than 28 million American consumers.

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