NCTA to FCC: Don't change must-carry as part of spectrum grab

The NCTA is fine with the FCC's plan to take more broadcast spectrum for a national broadband plan, as long as doesn't pile onto already burdensome must-carry obligations, the cable organization said in comments to the FCC.

Among portions of the plan, the FCC would auction more broadcast spectrum and allow the broadcasters to double up with other television stations on their 6 MHz channels to save bandwidth and, the FCC has contended, help keep down costs. Doubled stations must not double must-carry obligations, the FCC said.

"Must-carry requirements are an intrusion on the First Amendment rights of cable operators and programmers, to the detriment of many of their customers," the NCTA said in its comments. "NCTA does not oppose the channel-sharing proposal so long as it does not result directly or indirectly in the expansion of cable operators' must carry obligations."

NCTA said that the cable industry should not be required to carry any additional stations just because they're part of a new sharing plan and that operations should be "compensated for any costs that they incur due to the implementation of channel sharing."

For more:
- read the NCTA's reply comments

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