ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue – February 06, 2013 

 Key Developments  

ACA Members: FCC Needs To End Coordinated Retransmission Consent Bargaining Now

In a new letter, more than two dozen executives from ACA Member companies called on the Federal Communications Commission to take action against broadcast stations that are engaging in anti-competitive coordination designed to extract excessive retransmission consent compensation from pay-TV providers as compared to other broadcasters that negotiate individually.

The letter explained that in dozens of second- and third-tier markets around the country, separately owned, same-market Big 4 TV stations are coordinating their retransmission consent negotiations by relying on a single representative or a third party retained by both stations to present a united front at the bargaining table with ACA Members.

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ACA: FCC Should Stay The Course On First Phase Of CAF Support

The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to stay the course with regard to rules associated with the first round of Connect America Fund (CAF) money accepted by large telecommunications carriers because the program's goal of jump-starting broadband deployment in unserved areas achieves the FCC's goals.

"The FCC designed Phase I of the CAF program to reach a significant number of relatively low-cost locations with up to $300 million in federal support. With the funding allocated last year, the program's stated objective is in the process of being achieved. Until that is no longer the case, the FCC need not substantially alter the program," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Urges FCC To Refrain From Imposing Costly Proof-Of-Performance Tests

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to refrain from requiring cable operators to engage in proof-of-performance testing for digital signals, arguing that the improved reliability of widely deployed and utilized digital technology obviates the need to impose costly analog-era mandates on the industry.

"Lacking the foundational evidentiary demonstration of a digital signal quality problem to remedy, the FCC has no reasoned basis to impose potentially burdensome digital proof-of-performance requirements on cable operators. As the record reflects, proof-of-performance testing for digital signals is neither necessary nor desirable," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Provides FCC With Broadband Map Data In Rural Served Locations

In response to the Federal Communications Commission's recent notice, the American Cable Association filed additional broadband map data concerning locations in rural markets served by ACA Members. These data rebut assertions by some price cap telecommunications carriers that these locations were actually unserved and thus eligible for Connect America Fund Phase I support earmarked for these incumbent carriers.

"ACA submitted on behalf of its Members evidence about inaccuracies in both the FCC's National Broadband Map (NBM) and within the areas recently challenged by price cap carriers. Submissions of ACA members regarding these inaccuracies were provided with specifically identified areas and certifications. The FCC should accept these as sufficient to correct the NBM and to dismiss challenges," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines

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 about 7.4 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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