The Federal Communications Commission has voted to create a presumption that all cable markets are subject to “effective competition,” with Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel dissenting in part.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
“This action does not serve the public interest.
“Congress directed the FCC to streamline the process by which small cable operators can file petitions with the FCC for finding that they are subject to effective competition, which exempts them from some regulatory oversight. In general, Public Knowledge agrees that the FCC should do what it can to make regulatory processes simpler for smaller entities.
“However, the FCC has gone beyond Congress's directive, adopting a blanket presumption that all cable operators, large and small, are subject to effective competition. Any analysis that shows that the largest cable companies face effective competition in their local markets is flawed. These companies bundle cable television with high-speed broadband and often have control over valuable programming. They are in a fundamentally different marketplace position than the small cable operators that Congress is concerned with.
“Public Knowledge commends Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel for dissenting from this action to the extent it exceeds the directive given by Congress.”
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