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FCC Finds Verizon Retention Practices Illegal

Independent Cable Commends Commissions’ Ruling

PITTSBURGH, June 23, 2008 —The American Cable Association (ACA) today commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its ruling that Verizon’s customer retention practices violated the Communications Act. Earlier this year, the American Cable Association argued that the Commission should not sanction Verizon’s now recognized illegal actions unless independent operators had the right to weigh in on this proceeding.

“In the highly competitive telephone service market that notably benefits consumers, it is essential that everyone plays by the same rules,” said Matthew M. Polka, ACA president and CEO. “Verizon’s illegal practices distorted the market to its advantage, making it harder for law-abiding cable operators to compete, particularly those who are small and medium-sized. We are grateful the Commission clarified that Verizon was in violation of existing regulations today and restored balance and competition to the marketplace, and we commend the Commission for its willingness to take action today to more clearly define the legal limits of retention practices.”

In May, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau recommended the Commission initiate a rulemaking to address the imbalance of marketing practices caused by the reported retention practices employed by Verizon. The Bureau’s recommendation was in response to a formal complaint filed against Verizon in February by a number of cable providers, alleging the telco was marketing to customers after the time in which the subscriber chose to leave Verizon, but before the customers’ phone number was ported to the customers’ new service provider. The complaint specifically cited the Communications Act of 1934, which prevents the use of information provided by one provider to another for a specific purpose to be used for a different purpose.

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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing 1,100 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together toadvance the interests of their customers and ensure the futurecompetitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit www.americancable.org.

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