PITTSBURGH, January 14, 2015 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding President Obama's visit to ACA Member Cedar Falls Utilities:
"ACA applauds President Obama for recognizing the key role Cedar Falls Utilities and other municipal providers play in bringing high-speed broadband to consumers. Cedar Falls Utilities and some 100 other municipal providers are ACA members, along with hundreds of private sector cable operators and telephone companies. These range from mid-sized entities, like Mediacom, with hundreds of thousands of customers, to smaller operators serving just hundreds.
"What ties Cedar Falls Utilities, Mediacom and all of these providers together is a drive to give American consumers broadband service that enables them to access entertainment content, exchange social information, and engage in civic debate. Consumers consider this connectivity critical, and ACA members, whether public or private, are responding by investing in innovative services and new infrastructure to make even higher speed service a reality.
"However, it is important to understand that the investments by small and medium-sized broadband providers come with substantial risk. Moreover, these providers continue to confront barriers that deter new investment. For instance, ACA members, face the possibility that the FCC soon will impose burdensome Title II regulations on their broadband service. The application of utility rules on smaller broadband service providers - entities that pose no risk to an open Internet -- will serve only to create disincentives to upgrade plant and expand service areas.
"Municipal providers, cable providers, and telephone companies also have to deal with runaway video programming costs that can eat into their investment budget. ACA has consistently asked lawmakers and policymakers to address this concern. An immediate step the FCC can take is to conclude a long-pending rulemaking and ensure that the program buying group used by nearly all smaller broadband providers is protected from non-discriminatory treatment by video programmers under the FCC's program access rules.
"Finally, to further deployment of high-speed broadband infrastructure throughout the country, we should encourage communities to work to facilitate deployments by private sector providers by finding ways to lower the costs of deployment and accelerate demand. This teamwork is essential to ensuring that all Americans have this key tool to participate fully in our economy and society."
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 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 http://www.americancable.org/
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