WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to reports that the FCC has voted 3-2 to presume the largest cable companies are "effectively competitive" in each market and therefore allowed to raise cable TV rates without approval from local municipalities, the following statement can be attributed to NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton:
"The FCC decision clearly contradicts language expressly written into statute* by Congress just six months ago in the satellite TV bill. Moreover, itís disappointing and surprising that as cable customer satisfaction ratings plunge to a record low, the FCC believes it is wise to gut the one protection that allows local municipalities a chance to protect consumers from abusive treatment and consistently skyrocketing rates.
*(Sec. 111) Requires the FCC to establish a streamlined process for the filing of effective competition petitions (if the FCC finds that a cable system is subject to effective competition, the rates for the provision of cable service by such system are not subject to regulation by the FCC, states, or franchising authorities) by small cable operators, particularly those that serve primarily rural areas. Prohibits this Act from being construed to have any effect on the duty of a small cable operator to prove the existence of effective competition.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.