FCC Postpones Decision On New Regs For Cable TV - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
News
11/28/2007
01:21 PM
50%
50%

FCC Postpones Decision On New Regs For Cable TV

A split among commissioners has caused the FCC to seek more data on the structure of the cable TV industry before it acts on new rules.

The Federal Communications Commission has backed away from an effort by its chairman to impose new regulations on the cable television industry.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters Tuesday that the commission would not vote on a report concluding that the cable industry met certain thresholds that could trigger new regulations aimed at supporting competition.

The 70/70 rule in the 1984 Cable Act states that when 70% of American homes can access cable, with at least 36 channels, and 70% of those with access subscribe, the FCC can impose new regulations to ensure competition.

The move by Martin to consider new regulations split the commission, which met most of the day Tuesday in executive session. Martin has said he believes the 70/70 threshold had been met. Several minority groups and cable companies disagreed and criticized reports that Martin was moving to change the cable industry by requiring a la carte offerings.

While the 70/70 rule was adopted to ensure competition, minority groups said a la carte offerings would destroy the business model that supports minority channels, hurting minorities, rural voters, and consumers.

Cable companies said new regulations would lead to increased prices and decreased consumer choice. Consumer groups, however, back the idea of a la carte offerings.

Observers expected a vote on the issue Tuesday. Instead the FCC (PDF) will seek additional data from cable companies. That means no changes are likely until next year, at the earliest.

Martin's initial plan was based on a single, hotly disputed report. Critics said Martin was trying to circumvent the legislative process and go against Congress' wishes. After several federal lawmakers also complained, Martin agreed to allow cable companies to provide additional reports, expanding the number of sources the commission relies on when it revisits the issue.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Commentary
Preparing for the Upcoming Quantum Computing Revolution
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/3/2021
News
How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll