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FCC's DTV Consumer Education Initiative Should Include Reasonable Exemption

ACA Calls Attention to Limited System Capability for Some Members

PITTSBURGH, June 30, 2008 – On Friday, the American Cable Association (ACA) sought relief for small cable operators from a proposed rule by the Federal Communications Commission related to the digital television transition. One of the Commission's DTV Consumer Education Initiatives, which would require cable operators to provide on-air DTV transition education, presents a challenge for ACA's smallest members whose systems do not have the technological capability to comply with the requirement. 

"Independent cable operators recognize their important role in helping to educate their community about the upcoming transition," said ACA President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew M. Polka. "While many independent cable operators can use their systems to educate their subscribers through inserted advertisements, there are many smaller operators who simply do not have the equipment necessary to comply with such a requirement. We have requested that the Commission take notice of those operators whose systems do not have ad insertion capability, and adopt a fair and reasonable exemption from this one initiative."

ACA supports reasonable measures and initiatives that would lessen confusion and potential loss of service for cable subscribers before, during and after the DTV transition. The American Cable Association works with other business, trade, and industry groups as a member of the Digital Television Transition Coalition to ensure that no consumer is left without broadcast television after the transition because of a lack of information. ACA also makes available to all of our members the DTV Transition Coordination Handbook, which provides general background information about the broadcast industry's transition to digital television and a generic technical and operational checklist that facilitates broadcaster-cable operator coordination for carriage of digital broadcast signals post-transition so cable customers experience no disruption in service.

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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 to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit www.americancable.org.

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