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ACA Commends FCC On CAF II Challenge Rules

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued May 16 the following statement on the Federal Communications Commission's order on the process for challenging areas eligible for Connect America Fund II support:

"ACA commends the FCC for proposing a challenge process that is fair for unsubsidized broadband competitors, which in many cases will be ACA Members.  In doing so, the FCC is following through on its policy to avoid providing government support in areas where an unsubsidized broadband provider is already offering service.

"The FCC's approach is particularly reasonable because it establishes a presumption that cable operators shown on the National Broadband Map to be offering broadband speeds of 3 Mbps/768 kbps in a census block and also offering voice service in that area satisfy the FCC's other non-speed criteria for deeming an area as served.  Price cap carriers then appropriately have the burden to prove that the cable operator's service does not meet at least one of these criteria.

"ACA is also pleased that the FCC will use a simple standardized form, which will minimize the burden on smaller providers that either wish to declare they are serving an area deemed unserved on the National Broadband Map or need to respond to a challenge by a price cap carrier.  This approach will lessen any advantage that large price cap carriers with a strong Washington, D.C., presence might have over a small unsubsidized provider that has little regulatory support."

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