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ACA Applauds 60 House Lawmakers For Bipartisan Letter Raising Alarm About Impact Of FCC’s Set-Top Box Rules On Small Providers

Members Concerned Onerous Regulations Would Harm Small Pay-TV Operators And Their Customers

PITTSBURGH, May 5, 2016 -  American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement in response to a letter co-signed by 60 U.S. Representatives to the Federal Communications Communication, arguing that the FCC's set-top box proposal would threaten the economic welfare of small operators that serve as the communications backbone of their communities:

"ACA thanks all of those Members of Congress who understand and support our concerns about how the FCC's set-top box mandates would impact small pay-TV providers.  They recognize the important services small providers offer to their consumers, and they are concerned this proposal would not only harm these providers and their customers, but would also reverse the progress they have made in this increasingly competitive environment.

"ACA would especially like to thank Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Bob Latta (R-Oh.), and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for their leadership in spearheading this effort and gathering support from their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to press the FCC to rethink its approach so it does not disrupt a vibrant market and negatively impact small and rural providers. To download the letter, visit here.

"Consumers' access to video programming is growing by leaps and bounds.  Regardless of where they live, consumers increasingly are able to access video content from their pay-TV and other providers, inside and outside of the home and on more devices today than ever before.  This is due in no small part to smaller pay-TV providers that often lead the way in offering advanced video services and devices to their customers in rural communities and competitive alternatives in urban markets.

"For this reason alone, the FCC's set-top box proposal to mandate that smaller pay-TV providers disaggregate and cede control of their networks to others makes no sense.  Further, the costs of the FCC's mandates would cripple many smaller providers, forcing them to exit the business, reduce critical investments or raise consumer prices.  None of these outcomes is desirable.  Accordingly, as these Members of Congress suggest, the FCC should reconsider applying these mandates to smaller pay-TV providers.

"These 60 Members of Congress join a growing chorus of entities, both for and against the proposal - such as TiVo, Public Knowledge, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and WTA-Advocates for Rural Broadband - that submitted filings to the FCC, acknowledging compliance challenges for small providers and proposing relief for them."

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