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FCC settles for improved reporting from cable industry

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 28 Nov 2007 21:28 User comments (1)

FCC settles for improved reporting from cable industry Facing opposition from other commisioners, and vocal criticism from the cable industry, Chairman Kevin Martin has decided to drop a proposal that would give the FCC stronger regulatory control over the U.S. cable industry, which now includes not only traditional cable companies, but also AT&T's U-verse IPTV service.
Instead, cable companies will be required to provide the FCC with the most comprehensive information they ever have. In recent days Martin has indicated that he believes that cable companies now have service available to at least 70% of all U.S. residences, and that at least 70% of the people for whom the service is available are actual subscribers. These are the thresholds required for the FCC to increase regulatory control over cable TV according to 1984 cable bill.

His claims were based on the results of an independent study that he now admits might not be definitive enough to warrant FCC action. He hopes that the additional information provided by cable companies will help make his case next time around.

It's easy to side with Martin on his primary concern, which is the way cable channels are packaged, with consumers required to buy entire packages, sometimes just to get a single Channel. In the past Martin has stated a preference for requiring cable providers to offer so called ala carte channel selections, allowing customers to select individual channels for a lower price than current packages.

However, the FCC doesn't exactly have a sparkling record when it comes to figuring out what technology consumers have access to. In recent years the General Accounting Office (GAO) has repeatedly criticized the agency over the methodology used to figure out who does or doesn't have access to broadband internet. This certainly casts a cloud over any pronouncement Kevin Martin might make regarding what the citizens who pay his salary do or do not have access to in their homes.

Source: Washington Post

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1 user comment

121.12.2007 19:26

There is too much in regards to red tape for this too actually make any sense for anyone. We will have to see what comes of this...

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