ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – March 17, 2010 

  Key Developments

WOW's Abdoulah Warns Comcast-NBC Universal Will Have Power To Harm Consumers, Competition

Colleen Abdoulah  
American Cable Association board member Colleen Abdoulah warned the U.S. Senate that competition will suffer and consumers will face sharply higher monthly bills if the giant merger between Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal is approved without suitable conditions that meaningfully restrict the new company's ability and incentive to use its greatly enhanced market power in anti-competitive ways.

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ACA Takes Retransmission Consent Reform To FCC, Congress

The American Cable Association stepped up its retransmission consent reform advocacy by launching new initiatives before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission in the wake of troubling news that the Walt Disney Co. abruptly pulled its ABC broadcast signal from 3 million cable subscribers as they anxiously awaited the start of the evening's highly popular Academy Awards ceremony.

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ACA's Polka Addresses Minnesota Telecom Alliance Convention

Minnesota Telecom Alliance  
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka traveled to Minneapolis on March 2 to speak to the Minnesota Telecom Alliance's 101st Annual Convention about common interests shared by small cable and telephone phone companies at a time when the media and telecommunications sectors are converging and Washington regulators are considering major regulatory changes with potentially far-reaching consequences for their businesses.

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  Industry Affairs

ACA's 17th Annual Summit

ACA's 17th Annual Summit

  News Headlines
  • Effort To Widen U.S. Internet Access Sets Up Battle (The New York Times, 03/12)
    The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network.
  • Feds Pledge Tough Review Of Comcast-NBC Deal (Associated Press, 03/12)
    Federal regulators are pledging rigorous reviews of Comcast Corp.'s proposed purchase of NBC Universal to ensure that it would not stifle competition or harm consumers.
  • FCC Ponders Action On Cable Fee Disputes (The New York Times, 03/11)
    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said the agency was considering changes to ensure that cable television customers do not lose access to broadcast stations because of fee disputes between broadcasters and cable companies.
  • Senate Passes STELA (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/10)
    The Senate Wednesday passed STELA, the five-year re-authorization of the satellite blanket distant signal license.
  • House Bill Would Give FCC, NTIA Four Years To Inventory Spectrum (Multichannel News, 03/10)
    It looks like broadcasters could get more breathing room from the specter of government spectrum band-clearing for mobile broadband.
  • Treasury: Broadband Grants For Opex Taxed, Capex Not So Much (Multichannel News, 03/08)
    Treasury has told the National Telecommunications & Information Administration that some broadband grants will be tax deductible, and others won't.
  • ABC-Cablevision Fight Sets Stage For More Disputes, Analysts Say (Washington Post, 03/09)
    The flap between ABC and Cablevision over retransmission rights may be resolved (or at least near a resolution), but analysts say that last weekend's showdown merely set the stage for similar disputes in coming months.
  • TiVo Wins Ruling In Echostar Case, Shares Soar (Reuters, 03/04)
    A federal appeals court affirmed on Thursday a contempt finding against Dish Network Corp and EchoStar Corp in their long-running patent case against digital video recorder maker TiVo Inc, sending TiVo shares soaring 52 percent.
  • Desperate Cities Beseech St. Google: Bless Us With Thy Fiber (Ars Technica, 03/04)
    Forget "Topeka"—as of yesterday, Topeka, Kansas will be referred to as "Google, Kansas" for the month of March.
  • Broadband Grants Deadline Extended By Two Agencies (, 03/03)
    Two federal agencies have extended the application deadline for grants from the economic stimulus bill aimed at expanding broadband access in the United States.
  • Comcast's Burke: Making NBC A Cable Network "Unthinkable" (Broadcasting & Cable, 03/02)
    Comcast Corp. isn't seeing many signs of an economic recovery, but one bright exception is advertising. Speaking at the American Association of Advertising Agencies annual get-together in San Francisco on March 2, Comcast COO Steve Burke said, "We survived a near-death experience a year ago and people haven't really recovered, but the one place it has recovered is advertising."
  • Congress In No Rush On Shifting Spectrum (TVNewsCheck, 03/02)
    Policymakers want to conduct a full inventory of spectrum use before making any judgments about reallocating spectrum, according to key Democratic and Republican congressional staffers speaking today at the NAB's State Leadership Conference in Washington.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page on the ACA website.

  About ACA

Small markets and rural areas across the country are receiving video, high-speed broadband, and phone services from nearly 900 small and medium-sized independent operators represented by the American Cable Association (ACA).

ACA's membership comprises cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities, who deliver these affordable basic and advanced services, such as high-definition television, next generation Internet access, and digital phone, to more than 7 million households and businesses, some of whom have no other means of receiving these vital services.

These communications services are considered by most to be essential for individuals, companies, and other entities, like schools and hospitals, and are crucial to America's economic prosperity, particularly in smaller markets and rural areas.

The ACA works to ensure its members are treated fairly in the marketplace and in Washington, so that small and medium-sized independent operators may continue to thrive and deliver affordable video, broadband, and phone services to Main Street America. Through active participation in the legislative and regulatory process, ACA and its members advocate for the interests of their customers, their companies, and their communities to help ensure the continued viability of their hometown's way of life.

For more information, visit, or contact:

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