ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – November 9, 2011 

 Key Development  

ACA's Polka Applauds FCC For Historic Vote To Reform Universal Service Fund

Right of Way  
The Federal Communications Commission voted to reform the Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation systems, setting the stage for the agency's direct support of broadband service in high cost areas for the first time in history.

"The American Cable Association applauds the FCC for taking truly historic action to modernize the USF program in an effort to ensure that all Americans, especially those located in rural areas that are more expensive to serve, have broadband Internet access and can participate on an equal basis in the transformative Internet-based economy,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA: Limit IP Closed Captioning Rules To Over-The-Top Video On Internet

The American Cable Association is urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new closed captioning rules that will create a balanced and light-touch implementation program for Internet Protocol-delivered programming.

"To get this right, the FCC must avoid imposing conflicting, unnecessary and burdensome obligations, or create a patchwork of requirements that will unfairly burden smaller cable operators with more limited access to capital and smaller subscriber bases over which to spread regulatory compliance costs," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Supports The FCC's Suggestions For Limiting The Environmental Harm Of New Antennas

The American Cable Association endorsed a key conclusion, set forth in the Federal Communications Commission draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA), that its Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) program does not cause nationally significant impacts on environmental resources, especially migratory birds.

"The FCC is correct to take a local approach regarding the approval of antenna structure placements, which are vital facilities for rural cable operators offering voice, video and high-speed data services in some of the most remote regions of the country," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "ACA believes the FCC's conclusion is well reasoned and supported and encourages the agency to adopt it in the final version of its pending PEA."

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ACA's Polka Salutes FCC Nominations Of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai

Jessica Rosenworchel Ajit Pai  
In an announcement applauded by the American Cable Association, President Barack Obama on Oct. 31 nominated Jessica Rosenworcel, a Senate aide and Democrat, and Republican lawyer Ajit Pai to serve on the Federal Communications Commission

"ACA is pleased President Obama will nominate Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve at the FCC. Both are talented individuals with a deep understanding of the digital economy and the vital role played by small and mid-sized cable operators in providing world-class communications services to hometown America,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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  News Headlines

  • Dish Networking: CEO Ergen Explores Live Cable Channels For Web (The New York Post, 11/7)
    Charlie Ergen is weighing a move to offer live cable channels via the Web, likely under his Blockbuster brand name, The Post has learned.
  • Google's Cable TV Plan: Gamble or Gambit? (, 11/5)
    Google is allegedly looking at potentially offering a cable TV service with its high-speed broadband access in Kansas City. Analysts aren't so bullish on this prospect.
  • LIN TV Banks On Retransmission Consent Fees To Survive (FierceCable, 11/4)
    A quick look at LIN TV's (NYSE: TVL) dismal third-quarter earnings report Thursday morning reveals why the broadcaster has been hammering cable operators such as Mediacom Communications to pay it huge increases in retransmission consent fees.
  • FCC, FEMA Prepare For First National Emergency Alert Test (NationalJournal, 11/4)
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission are preparing for the first nationwide test of the emergency alert system.
  • A La Carte Class-Action Suit Gets Fresh Legs (Multichannel News, 11/3)
    The class-action suit attempting to force cable programming to be offered a la carte just got some fresh legs.
  • Smaller Cable Firms Seeking Exemption From Loud TV Law (NationalJournal, 11/2)
    A group of smaller cable companies are asking the Federal Communications Commission for a one-year exemption from having to comply with a law enacted in December that would lower the volume on all those loud TV ads that irritate so many television viewers.
  • Time Warner Cable Closes NewWave Deal (Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/2)
    Time Warner Cable Inc. said Wednesday that it has closed its previously announced acquisition of cable systems from NewWave Communications for about $260 million.
  • Feud Between Wireless Companies And Broadcasters Turns Ugly (The Hill, 11/2)
    The rivalry between television broadcasters and wireless companies has turned ugly in the past day with the wireless companies calling broadcast television a dying industry and the broadcasters accusing the wireless companies of diminishing racial diversity.
  • FCC Reform Bill Would Require Cost-Benefit Analysis (Broadcasting & Cable, 11/2)
    As expected, a pair of Republican legislators introduced an FCC process reform bill Wednesday that would require the FCC to justify regulations according to costs and benefits, survey the state of the marketplace before initiating any new rulemakings, and take other steps to make sure the public is getting bang for its regulatory buck.
  • NBC Ownership Highlights Comcast's Programming Investment Risks (Los Angeles Times, 11/2)
    Comcast is learning that money can't buy happiness -- or bigger ratings.

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 900 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 7.6 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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