ACA, NCTA issue public support for FCC in effective competition fight with NAB

While battling the FCC in court over Title II Internet re-classification, the ACA and NCTA are backing the agency in its battle with the broadcast industry over its June "effective competition" ruling.

"With the consent of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, ACA (court filing) and NCTA (court filing) intend to support the FCC's presumption that all cable systems face 'effective competition' in their local markets," said American Cable Association President Matthew Polka and National Cable Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell, in a joint statement.

"ACA and NCTA believe the FCC acted correctly in response to dramatic changes in the pay-TV market that persist to this day and in response to mandates in the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) that Congress passed less than a year ago."

The FCC's June ruling ended the ability of states, cities and other local authorities to force cable operators to prove they have competition in their market in order to avoid rate regulation. Previously, operators had to seek recourse with the FCC to escape local rate regulation.

Late last month, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and the local Minnesota Franchise Authority filed suit in federal court in order to stop the FCC ruling.

"The FCC's decision to reverse the 22-year-old presumption that cable operators do not face 'effective competition' was based on compelling evidence that direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers DirecTV and Dish Network have created nationwide competition in the marketplace for multichannel video programming distribution -- a fact that has been borne out by the FCC finding that effective competition exists in the 'vast majority' of franchise areas it has reviewed since 2013," Powell and Polka added.

"ACA and NCTA agree with the FCC that a presumption of 'effective competition' will reduce the regulatory burdens on all cable operators and will alleviate unnecessary burdens on the FCC, without diminishing the rights of LFAs to produce evidence that effective competition does not exist in a particular community," the statement continued. 

For more:
- read this ACA press release

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