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Senate to FCC: Lay off cable

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 8:15am
Brian Santo

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has a lot of business he wants to finish before the next administration is sworn in, but the Senate Commerce Committee has warned him against trying to ram through any more changes aimed at punishing the cable industry.

“Pursuing contentious policy initiatives, such as the unbundling of wholesale subscription television channels, would divert attention of the bureau at this critical time,” according to a letter from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), co-signed by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).

Martin has vowed to leave cable alone, but cable doesn’t trust him, and three powerful members of Congress are now on record being of like mind.

Martin has plenty else on his plate, including evaluations of the Verizon-Alltel and Sprint-Clearwire mergers, deciding whether to approve so-called white space broadcasting, analyzing rates phone companies pay each other to connect calls, and scheduling one or possibly two auctions of open airwaves, according to a report in today’s The Wall Street Journal (story here; access is now free).

More Broadband Direct:

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• ACA cites retransmission complaints as proof of broadcaster abuse

• Senate to FCC: Lay off cable

• FCC enacts new D-block plan

• Gartner: IPTV subs to total 19.6M in 2008

• Broadband Briefs for 9/26/08

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