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ACA Extremely Troubled By FCC’s Set-Top Box Rulemaking

Proposals Will Burden Smaller MVPD Providers And Their Customers

PITTSBURGH, February 18, 2016 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the set-top box Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted today by the Federal Communications Commission:

"It seems plain to everyone but the FCC that the video marketplace is in a highly dynamic state, particularly with regard to the means with which consumers access programming from pay TV providers.  Smaller MVPDs in particular have proven themselves to be market leaders in offering subscribers new ways to access both traditional MVPD programming and OTT video services using innovative new devices, some incorporating TiVo software and providing access to Netflix.  It is troubling that the FCC is seeking comment on proposed rules based on the marketplace as it exists at this moment, which is likely to look vastly different in the years ahead.  It is best for consumers to let this marketplace continue to evolve unimpeded by backward-looking regulations.

"If the FCC moves forward with new rules, ACA is very troubled that smaller operators and their customers will be significantly burdened because these providers are hardly in position to absorb the cost of deploying new equipment to all customers, which is the likely outgrowth of this rulemaking - a painful lesson they learned from the FCC's costly implementation of the flawed CableCARD experiment.  To impose new costs on smaller operators that are already suffering badly from escalating retransmission consent and programming costs is misguided, and will surely cause unintended consequences for many consumers."

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 750 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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