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ACA Public Issue – July 24, 2013 

 Key Developments  

ACA: FCC Should Cover VoIP Interconnection Under 251/252 Of Telecom Act

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to eschew VoIP Interconnection trials sought by AT&T and others because they are unnecessary in making the competitively significant legal determination that bedrock interconnection protections found in sections 251 and 252 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 apply to cable VoIP providers, regardless of the communications technology used.

"The FCC should act now to affirm that regardless of technology, all interconnection for the exchange of traffic is governed by sections 251 and 252 of the Act," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Confirming that interconnection rights exist when exchanging managed VoIP traffic is the critical issue the FCC should address."

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ACA Seeks Balanced FCC Implementation Of CVAA's Accessibility Mandates

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to take a balanced approach on implementation of key accessibility mandates concerning user guides in the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), arguing that such flexibility would allow small cable operators to provide audio services to the blind and visually impaired community in the most cost-efficient manner.

ACA set forth its views on July 15 in response to the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that explored various proposals for implementing Sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA.

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ACA Praises FCC's New Video Competition Report

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on July 22 regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s most recent video competition report:

“ACA commends the Federal Communications Commission for acknowledging in its 15th Annual Video Competition Report that the number of cable systems operating nationwide is decreasing, and for including evidence that hundreds of small cable systems have ceased offering service in their communities. Although the report indicates that the FCC has not collected data on the reasons why these cable systems have ceased operations, it acknowledges that small systems lack scale economies enjoyed by larger competitors. With facts about the number of these small system closures now being reported by the expert agency, policymakers should take greater note of the economic fragility of small cable systems, and take this into account when considering adoption of new rules and regulations that impose disproportionate burdens on them. ACA also praises the FCC for reporting on the current retransmission consent market in more depth, including noting that separately owned, same-market broadcasters are coordinating their retransmission consent negotiations.”

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ACA Commends FCC Review Of E-Rate Program

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on July 19 after the Federal Communications Commission voted to review the E-Rate program, which provides funds to K-12 schools to purchase affordable Internet access service:

“ACA applauds acting Chairwoman Clyburn and Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai for initiating this serious review of the E-Rate program. ACA has many local service provider members that participate in the program and many others that are experienced voice and broadband providers whose participation could enhance the value of the program. That the program has been valuable for schools and libraries is unquestioned. We now need to address flaws in the program and reorient it to deliver today’s essential high-speed broadband service. ACA and its members look forward to working with the FCC to address issues and seize opportunities so the program continues, and in fact increases, its value for our country.”

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ACA Applauds FCC On Connect America Fund Decision

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement, saying: “ACA is pleased that the Federal Communications Commission decided to revisit its recent decision to extend the Connect America Fund Phase I program and modify its reporting obligation for price cap LECs accepting support to require greater transparency and accountability. This is consistent with the position advocated by the independent cable community. ACA believes the FCC's new decision will better ensure that CAF money isn't allocated in areas served by our Members."

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  News Headlines

  • WOW Wins PC Magazine Readers Choice Award (Montgomery Advisor, 7/12)
    Wow, has won PC Magazine’s Readers Choice Award for favorite Broadband Internet Service Provider in the cable category for the second consecutive year.
  • Court To Aereo: Keep On Streaming (, 7/16)
    Aereo, the start-up that streams live TV to mobile devices for $8 month, can stream in New York for the foreseeable future, after an appeals court refused to revisit its earlier 2-1 decision that declared the service legal.
  • A La Carte ESPN Could Cost Consumers $30 Per Month (, 7/16)
    Sports fans would pay considerably more for ESPN/ESPN2 — perhaps $30 a month — if the networks were unbundled from the current pay-TV package and sold separately to only those consumers who wanted it.
  • FCC Tweaks Connect America Order (Broadcasting & Cable, 7/17)
    The FCC says it has taken steps to better insure that the broadband subsidies in the first phase of its Connect America Fund (CAF) transition from phone to broadband support is not used to overbuild existing service, something cable operators have been, and continue to be, concerned about.
  • Cablevision Unveils New Broadband Product Tiers (Multichannel News, 7/16)
    Cablevision Systems Corp. has upped the speed for all of its broadband subscribers at no extra charge, while establishing new product tiers to meet the needs of its varied customer base.
  • TiVo Petitions FCC To Ensure Consumer Access To Its DVR (Broadcasting & Cable, 7/16)
    Tivo has petitioned the FCC to guarantee that cable customers can continue to use retail set-top boxes with CableCARDs.
  • Buckeye Cablesystem Upgrading To IPv6 (FierceCable, 7/15)
    Incognito software said Ohio cable operator Buckeye Cablesystem is using a new version of its Broadband Command Center software to upgrade its platform to the IPv6 protocol.
  • Report: Fox Charging Affiliates 80 Cents Monthly For FS1 (FierceCable, 7/15)
    Fox Networks is asking pay TV distributors to shell out 80 cents monthly per subscriber to carry new national sports network Fox Sports 1, with carriage fees climbing to $1.50 monthly over the life of multi-year contracts, Sports Business Daily reported Monday.
  • FCC Votes Video Competition Report (Multichannel News, 7/19)
    As reported by Multichannel News, the FCC's just-approved video competition report does not draw any conclusions about the state of competition on the need, or lack of it, for regulation, but did show continued strength among traditional players, though also increased competition for eyeballs from new platforms and distribution models.
  • ATVA Pushes Retrans Reform In New Online Video (Broadcasting & Cable, 7/19)
    The American Television Alliance has created a new video -- it appears on YouTube and the group's website -- urging viewers to contact their representatives about 'updating' retrans.
  • Still No Signal On White House GOP Nominee For FCC (Politico, 7/17)
    The Federal Communications Commission could spend the remainder of its summer down two members — a reality that has Senate Democrats and Republicans blaming each other while fearing the potential of new policy delays.

For more ACA News visit the Newsroom on the ACA Website.

 About ACA  

Across this vast country, small and rural markets participate in the digital revolution by receiving video, broadband, and phone services from nearly 850 small and medium-sized independent operators represented by the American Cable Association (ACA).

ACA’s members -- cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities -- deliver affordable basic and advanced services to more than 7 million households and businesses. ACA members operate in every state, offering high-definition television, next generation Internet access, and digital phone service.

Access to advanced communications is not a luxury but a critical necessity for consumers and companies, schools and hospitals. America’s economic prosperity in smaller markets and rural areas depends on the growth and success of ACA members, who believe a connected nation, is a united nation.

The ACA asks lawmakers and regulators to ensure fair treatment so that small and medium-sized independent operators may continue to supply affordable video, broadband, and phone services to Main Street America. Through active participation in the policymaking process, ACA members and leaders advocate for the interests of their customers, their companies, and their communities to help ensure the continued viability of their way of life in hometown America.

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