ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue – July 11, 2012 

 Key Developments  

ACA Seeks To Revitalize FCC Program Access Protections For Buying Groups

In a series of proposals, the American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to update the program access rules to ensure that small and medium-size multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) that rely on buying groups to license programming have the same regulatory protections as individual MVPDs.

ACA also said the uniform price increases loophole should be closed and the current ban on exclusive contracts between cable operators and their cable programming affiliates should be extended for another five years.

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ACA: FCC Needs Broadband Support Cost Model That Will Efficiently Allocate CAF Money

The American Cable Association is urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt the most efficient mechanism to allocate $9 billion in new Connect America Fund (CAF) subsidies over the next five years to the price cap phone companies to bring broadband service to the maximum number of homes in rural America.

"The FCC should create a cost model that provides the most efficient level of broadband support to mid-sized and larger price cap phone companies to permit these companies to deploy to eligible homes broadband service that satisfies the performance obligations set forth by the FCC. Failure to develop an accurate and efficient cost model runs the risk of not funding homes that need support. It also would result in the provision of support being spent in areas where it is not needed or intended. This would be especially harmful because it would deter ACA Members and other broadband providers that do not receive CAF money from investing in their networks," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Calls On FCC To Lessen USF Collection Burdens On Small Providers

The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to make improvements to the current Universal Service Fund collection system and avoid placing new burdens on small and mid-size cable operators under a planned new mechanism designed to collect USF support from new sources, such as end-user broadband revenue.

"There are a number of problems with the current USF collection system that should be corrected now to ensure that independent cable operators can go about their business without incurring heavy regulatory compliance costs," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Once these have been addressed, the FCC can turn to creating a new contribution mechanism, bearing in mind that a one-size-fits-all approach will have a disproportionate financial impact on the smallest providers."

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ACA Applauds Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Leaders On Future Of Video Hearing

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement about the June 27 hearing on "The Future of Video" held by the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

"ACA is extremely pleased by the broad bipartisan interest in assessing whether the 1992 Cable Act is still appropriate for today's market realities,” Polka said. “We are also pleased that so many Members of Congress clearly expressed concern that retransmission consent rules may be leading to consumer harm, especially TV signal blackouts against pay-TV providers staged by broadcasters. It's clear there is growing support to reform the 1992 law and examine the issues ACA has been raising for years."

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ACA Commends FCC Staff Ruling That Shentel Acted In Good Faith Allbritton

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement July 6 in response to the Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau ruling that Shenandoah Cable Television Company (Shentel) negotiated retransmission consent in good faith with TV station WJLA, an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., owned by Allbritton Communications.

"ACA commends the FCC's Media Bureau for rejecting Allbritton's frivolous claims of bad faith directed at rural cable operator Shentel, which had made clear all along that its priority was to shield its customers from paying the 500% retransmission consent fee increase sought by WJLA.

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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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