PITTSBURGH, August 13, 2013 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s new regulatory fee schedule:
“ACA applauds the FCC for deciding to collect regulatory fees on providers of Internet Protocol television (IPTV) in the same manner as cable operators must pay them. IPTV providers offer a service substantially similar to cable service and are subject to, and benefit from, FCC Media Bureau regulation. Including IPTV service providers in the fee base will avoid distortions in the marketplace that can occur when some similarly situated competitors must pay regulatory fees while others can avoid them. We also greatly appreciate the FCC’s imposition of a cap on fee increases for fiscal year 2013, easing the burden on small cable operators.
ACA believes the next step is for the FCC to require Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) providers, including DISH and DirecTV, to pay regulatory fees on a per-subscriber basis as cable operators must. Doing so would result in regulatory parity and take into account the sizable burden that DBS providers place on Media Bureau staff resources through their participating in transactions and rulemakings and their involvement in initiating and responding to complaints alleging violations of rules or laws or both.
In our view, the FCC has ample authority to assess regulatory fees on DBS providers based on their Media Bureau activities, and should craft a regulatory fee structure that results in all providers of Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) services paying their fair share of the FCC’s costs. Major reform of the FCC’s regulatory fee program is long overdue, and won’t be complete until DBS pays its fair share for the work of the Media Bureau.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit https://acaconnects.org/