ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – May 04, 2011 

 Key Development  

Rural MVPDs Support Retention Of Cable Compulsory License For TV Signals

In comments filed with the U.S. Copyright office, a coalition representing hundreds of rural pay-TV providers is supporting retention of the compulsory license system that allows cable operators to retransmit broadcast TV signals in a cost-efficient manner, fairly compensates copyright holders and shields small pay-TV providers from incurring large costs associated with the negotiation of thousands of copyright transactions on an individual basis.

"This is a classic case of ‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "The current system has served the needs of everyone well for more than thirty years. All of the proposed alternatives to the current compulsory licensing system would be a step backward and hurt consumers served by ACA members."

Read More / Comment on Story

ACA's Lieberman Appears Before FCC Workshop On Universal Service Reform

American Cable Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ross J. Lieberman testified April 27 at a Federal Communications Commission workshop to outline the trade group’s policy goals in connection with the agency’s plan to subsidize broadband deployment and Internet access service for the first time.

The FCC’s goal is to transition the USF program from one designed to keep traditional telephone service affordable in rural areas of the country to one that helps underwrite the cost of broadband deployment and high-speed Internet service in those same areas, particularly those classified as unserved.

Read More / Comment on Story

  News Headlines
  • Dish, EchoStar Will Pay TiVo $500 Million To Settle Patent Litigation (Multichannel News, 5/2)
    Dish Network and EchoStar announced Monday that they will pay TiVo $500 million to settle all of their ongoing patent litigation, ending the companies' seven-year running legal battle.
  • Leaked Emails From Google Show How Important Location Data Is To Android (Business Insider, 5/1)
    The San Jose Mercury News landed some leaked emails from Google CEO Larry Page, as well as other top Google executives, which show how important gathering location data is for its mobile plans.
  • Is Stimulus For Rural Broadband Effective? (Argus Leader, 5/1)
    When Congress appropriated $7.2 billion in 2009 to bring high-speed Internet service to unserved areas of America, South Dakota didn't miss out.
  • Usage Caps Will Now Apply To 56% Of Broadband Users (Multichannel News, 4/29)
    With AT&T set to implement usage caps and overage charges for all high-speed Internet customers next Monday, May 2, more than 42 million broadband subscribers in the U.S. will be subject to explicit pre-set limits on how much bandwidth they can use on a monthly basis.
  • CBS Plans To Keep Its Spectrum (Broadcasting & Cable, 4/29)
    CBS has taken a slightly less adversarial tone toward the FCC's spectrum reclamation plan than the National Association of Broadcasters, group owners representing hundreds of TV stations, and state broadcast associations.
  • Verizon To Put Location Tracking Warning On Phones (, 4/29)
    Verizon plans to put a removable warning sticker on its handsets to inform users that the devices can be used to track their location, the company said in a letter to Congress released Thursday.
  • Broadcasters' Spectrum Crisis Could End Up Being Cable's Problem (Fierce Cable, 4/28)
    It used to be said that air was free. Now gas stations charge you to fill your tires, oxygen bars charge you to breathe pure air, and broadcast television stations charge pay TV providers for their "free" over-the-air signals.
  • Sen. Rockefeller Hearing To Include Incentive Auction Bill (Multichannel News, 4/28)
    On the morning after tornados devastated the southeast, with TV stations in affected areas keeping viewers apprised of the threats, the Senate Commerce Committee released its witness list on a May 3 hearing on disaster preparedness and WJLA senior meteorologist Bob Ryan to give broadcasters view.
  • FCC: We Must Not Study Spectrum Issue 'To Death' (The Hill, 4/28)
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) responded to a study that said there is no spectrum crisis by saying that studying the issue "to death" is not the best way forward.
  • NCTA On Spectrum: FCC Needs To Hold Cable Harmless, Too (Multichannel News, 4/27)
    The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has told the Federal Communications Commission that it is OK with TV stations being repacked or sharing channels, so long as that does not mean cable must-carry obligations are increased in the process.
  • Groups: FCC Should Deny AT&T Spectrum Purchase (PC World, 4/27)
    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should deny AT&T's plan to buy US$1.9 billion worth of wireless spectrum from Qualcomm because of the telecom carrier's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, several consumer groups said Wednesday.
  • Genachowski: FCC Inherited A "Real Mess" In Net Neutrality (CNNMoney, 4/26)
    On April 14, 2011 Fortune's Adam Lashinsky interviewed Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, in Mountain View, Calif., at an event sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California.
  • When It Comes To Broadband, Does Speed Matter? (Gigaom, 426/)
    An independent task force that provides recommendations on broadband policy to the FCC made its first eight recommendations, including one that suggests throughput speeds (currently measured in megabits per second) are not a good metric on which to judge broadband.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page 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.

For more information, visit, or contact:

  Pass It On!

Do you know someone in your company who would benefit from receiving a FREE subscription to the ACAction Brief? Click here!