ACA responds to FCC’s must-carry decision

Fri, 08/22/2008 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

The American Cable Association (ACA) issued a statement today that said it was encouraged by the Federal Communications Commissions’ (FCC) decision to exempt small cable operators from the must-carry requirement that is related to next year’s transition to all-digital signals.

The FCC was slated to discuss in a meeting today the ACA’s request that the FCC “enact a reasonable exemption for the smallest systems of 552 MHz or less, or fewer than 2,500 subscribers,” but the FCC’s new agenda for the meeting said the must-carry portion was removed because it has already been adopted.

While the ACA is pleased with the decision to not require the smaller cable operators to pass along TV stations’ high-definition (HD) signals in HD after the Feb. 17 transition to all digital, the details of the decision are not yet known.

“ACA thanks Chairman Martin for his efforts and leadership in adopting this reasonable exemption and granting needed relief for thousands of cable system operators who had neither the extra bandwidth nor the budget to comply with the digital must carry obligation,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “This reasonable exemption will benefit thousands of small communities and millions of consumers served by ACA’s members. ACA appreciates the Commission’s action to recognize the unique circumstances of smaller, independent operators and the technological limitations of some cable systems.”

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