Despite warnings from Congressmen to stop baiting cable for the rest of his tenure, Kevin Martin is stirring up another argument with cable over must-carry rules.

The FCC has scheduled a vote on giving some low-power (Class A) stations the same status as full-power stations on Oct. 15. The FCC is positioning the issue as one of expanding the rights of minority-owned stations.

The cable industry responds that the effect of elevating low-power stations to full-power status at this time would be to add hundreds of must-carry stations at the most inconvenient time possible – right before the digital transition.

The vote would be for a notice of proposed rulemaking, not for a final order, so even if the full Commission votes for the order, the FCC would still have several more steps to follow before it could implement the plan.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association opposes the proposal, calling it unnecessary and unconstitutional.

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