FCC Official Outlines Cable-Related Actions, Issues
INDIANAPOLIS, July 26, 2017 – A senior FCC official today addressed the Independent Show to discuss recent regulatory developments affecting small and mid-sized cable operators, referring to several actions designed to remove regulatory underbrush and ease paperwork burdens.
The update was delivered by Martha Heller, Chief of the FCC Media Bureau’s Policy Division.
“ACA greatly appreciates that Martha Heller of the FCC came to speak to our members at the Independent Show on policy actions and developments that ACA members need to know about. ACA looks forward to working with the FCC on ways to eliminate rules that no longer serve the public interest and to deter private investment,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
In her comments, Heller spoke of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s interest in reducing or eliminating rules and regulations that are no longer necessary, including ways of reducing paperwork burdens on cable operators.
As part of that effort, Heller noted that the FCC will allow cable operators to use email to send out annual notices to consumers, subject to certain safeguards; to post full-time job openings on the Internet only, without running afoul of the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules; and to withhold headend locations from physical public files. Heller said the FCC has also put out a broad call to stakeholders to come forward with their recommendations on how to update media regulations.
Lastly, Heller discussed the state of the FCC’s incentive spectrum auction that will involve the relocation of 987 TV stations over a 39-month period. Cable operators need to file Form 399 to seek financial reimbursement for costs incurred as a result of modifications to broadcast facilities.
Heller spoke on a panel moderated by ACA Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ross Lieberman that also included Scott Friedman of Cinnamon Mueller (ACA’s outside counsel), and Michael Nilsson, a partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, which is counsel to ACA on some media matters and to the American Television Alliance (ATVA), of which ACA is a member.
Other topics discussed related to FCC activity in connection with ATSC 3.0, retransmission consent, and the pending Sinclair Broadcasting-Tribune TV station merger within the context of the FCC’s local and national TV station ownership limits.
The Independent Show, now in its 12th year, is jointly organized and produced by the American Cable Association and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC). NCTC, based in Lenexa, Kan., negotiates with programming and equipment suppliers on behalf of hundreds multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) in the United States.
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 nearly 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