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FCC meeting last night on CSPAN2 - what was going on?

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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:27 AM
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FCC meeting last night on CSPAN2 - what was going on?
I caught the very end and there was no explanation afterwards. I read that they did not vote on regulating cable more tightly. But what I saw was a vote and I am not sure on what.
Also, I did hear Martin say that the next meeting is December 18th. Will this be vote on consolidation? Is ther much we can do to stop it? I have the ear of my rep on this issue.
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:37 AM
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1. Try This...

Martin wants increased control over the cable industry, and he is trying to get it by invoking something called the "70/70 rule" from a 1984 cable bill. That law says that the FCC has broad authority over the cable companies should they ever pass more than 70 percent of all US households, and should more than 70 percent of those households actually subscribe to cable. No one doubts that the first threshold has been reached, but there is substantial uncertainty about the second one.

Martin has been the driving force behind an FCC finding that was to have been considered this morning. That finding would state that cable had in fact exceeded both thresholds, opening the door to possible la carte regulations and certain kinds of price controls. Martin has already led the charge to abolish exclusive contracts between cable operators and apartment buildings.

But Martin's own Republican colleagues weren't sold on the idea. Commissioners Tate and McDowell generally vote along strong free market and deregulatory lines, and neither was pleased with Martin's attempt at more regulation. Two weeks ago, the two commissioners sent a joint letter (PDF) to one of the research companies that provided some of the FCC data, expressing concern about the "trustworthiness, truthfulness, and viability" of the data in question. Congress has also been applying pressure on the Commission, most of it negative.

The issue is that estimates of cable uptake range from 58 percent to 71.4 percent, so Martin's finding would have sided with the highest possible number. With the two Democrats also reluctant to take action on the issue, an FCC meeting this morning was delayed several hours, then into the afternoon.

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