Adds ‘It’s The End Of The Road’ For Outdated Cable Act
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, March 20, 2019 — House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) called the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) a “must-pass” bill this year. The act, which provides broadcast signals to nearly a million rural satellite viewers, will expire on Dec. 31. Scalise advocated its reauthorization during a Q&A with ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka at ACA Summit 26.
During the interview, Scalise observed that unlike the laws governing satellite distribution, the 1992 Cable Act has never been updated in a comprehensive way.
“Satellite laws have actually been modernized to reflect the change in the marketplace. The Cable Act is a permanent law. There’s never been a time when Congress has been forced to modernize those laws,” Scalise said. “I’d like to see us try and synchronize that more. [STELAR] is a must-pass bill. At the same time, shouldn’t we look at modernizing all of our video laws?”
Scalise also promoted passage of his Next Generation Television Marketplace Act, which would modernize the 1992 Cable Act. “Our video laws are so outdated. In 1992, you literally had only one provider in a market. Today, there are so many places where people get their video content.”
He further questioned the fairness of rules governing the different content delivery platforms, be they satellite, cable, broadcasting or Internet. “Why should the laws be completely different based on each one of those?” he asked.
“You have to compete with all these other platforms, yet they don’t have to follow the same rules that you do. They are much more free to go out and negotiate contracts than you are with rules like must carry. They literally can tell you where to put their content on your platform,” he said.
Scalise humorously noted that in 1992, the nation’s No. 1 song was “End of the Road.”
“It’s the end of the road for the old outdated laws,” he said. “Let’s modernize our laws to match what the marketplace is doing.”
The ACA Summit is a special event where small and mid-sized broadband, phone and video operators serving hometown America connect with the leading lawmakers and regulators as well as media representatives on the communications policy beat in Washington, D.C.
This year’s Summit was ACA’s 26th annual “fly-in” to Washington with its members, using the hashtag #Summit26 for all social media about the event.
ACA’s more than 750 independent operators play a unique role in providing best-in-class communications services to millions of consumers, many living and working in rural areas of the country. Created in the early 1990s, the ACA Summit gives independent communications providers a vehicle for framing the diverse and complex issues in their own words during dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill and with regulators at the FCC.
About ACA — America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ 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