ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue Ė April 30, 2010 

  Key Developments

ACA Chairman Steve Friedman Urges Broadband Policy Reforms Before Senate Panel

Steve Friedman  
American Cable Association Chairman Steve Friedman said in April 27 Senate testimony that small cable operators are encouraging the federal government to initiate a number of vital policy reforms -- including more focused investment in middle-mile infrastructure and stable utility pole attachment fees -- to provide small cable operators with key incentives to maintain their leadership in the provision of broadband access services to millions of Americans residing in rural communities.

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ACA Chairman Friedman: Trade Group Fully Committed To Comcast-NBCU Merger, Retransmission Consent Battles

Steve Friedman  
American Cable Association Chairman Steve Friedman said in a speech to ACA members that the trade group for independent cable operators is fully committed to seeking appropriate conditions on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger as well as fundamental changes to the broken retransmission consent regime put in place nearly two decades ago.

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ACA Applauds FCC's Proposed HD Set-Top Box Exemption

Set Top Box  
The American Cable Association applauded the Federal Communications Commission for proposing new rules that would allow all cable operators to offer low-cost, low-functionality High Definition set-top boxes as a substitute for expensive CableCARD-enabled boxes mandated under regulations in effect since July 2007.

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  Industry Affairs


ACA's 17th Annual Summit

  News Headlines
  • Business Groups Warn FCC On Moving Forward With Net Neutrality (The, 04/26)
    Major business trade groups urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to think twice before continuing its pursuit of net neutrality.
  • FCC's McDowell Cautions FCC About Getting Into Retrans Arbitration Business (Multichannel News, 04/23)
    FCC commissioner Robert McDowell suggested the agency needs to tread carefully in its inquiry into the retransmission-consent process, saying suggestions it get into the arbitration business might not sit well with the courts.
  • FCC's 'AllVid' Gateway Would Require Six IP Video Streams (Multichannel News, 04/22)
    The Federal Communications Commission is looking for feedback on its proposal to require U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV operators to supply all their customers an "AllVid" device or gateway -- capable of delivering as many as six different IP video streams to TVs, DVRs or other equipment in the home -- beginning no later than the end of 2012.
  • Regulating Internet's Future By Changing The Past (, 04/22)
    Wednesday--less than two weeks after a court decision exposing that the Federal Communications Commission has no legal authority to regulate the Internet--the FCC is scheduled to temporarily shelve its regulatory agenda to begin work on other aspects of its National Broadband Plan.
  • FCC Commissioner Says A Major Fight Over Net Neutrality Is Not Far Off (The, 04/22)
    Michael Copps stressed the debate over whether the government should regulate broadband will not be "solved without a fight."
  • Boucher Echoes Free Press Criticisms Of FCC Deployment Figures (Broadcasting & Cable, 04/21)
    Rick Boucher (D-Va.), chair of the House Communications & Internet Subcommittee, has commended the FCC for its national broadband plan. He said the FCC had done a "truly outstanding job" sifting through the comments and coming up with a strategy. But he also said he was worried the plan does not accurately reflect broadband deployment.
  • FCC Moves To Switch Phone Subsidy To Broadband (Computerworld, 04/21)
    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission took the first step Wednesday toward a long-awaited transformation of a multibillion-dollar program that subsidizes traditional telephone service into a broadband deployment fund.
  • Groups: RCN Case Highlights Need For FCC Authority (, 04/20)
    Public interest groups Free Press and Public Knowledge said Tuesday that recent reports that telecom provider RCN has settled a class action lawsuit alleging it interfered with the ability of some of its broadband subscribers to use peer-to-peer file-sharing services highlights the need for FCC authority to address such issues.
  • The FCC And The Internet (The New York Times, 04/18)
    With the Internet fast becoming the most important communications channel, it is untenable for the United States not to have a regulator to ensure nondiscriminatory access, guarantee interconnectivity among rival networks and protect consumers from potential abuse.
  • FCC Asks Comcast For Two Reports On Deal For NBC Unit (Bloomberg Business Week, 04/16)
    Federal regulators suspended the deadline for comments on Comcast Corp.ís proposed purchase of General Electric Co.ís NBC Universal unit while the companies prepare reports on the dealís economic effects.
  • Mobile DTV Precludes FCC Spectrum Plan (TVNewsCheck, 04/16)
    At the NAB Show this week, I bumped into a prominent broadcast lobbyist. A skeptic about the FCC alchemy for transforming broadcast channels into broadband spectrum, he nevertheless offered Chairman Julius Genachowski some free advice for making it happen.

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.

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