Copps Asks Bureaus To Clear Backlog

FCC focused on DTV Transition, but backlog of other issues remains

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps has asked the bureaus to start moving on some noncontroversial decisions, seeking to clear up what he calls a "backlog of routine items from stakeholders seeking clarification or a license or some other non-hot button request."

That has given renewed hope to leased access programmer Charlie Stogner that he will finally get a ruling out of the commission on whether cable operators are required to provide leased access programmer the same ability to deliver programming via the Internet to the cable headend, and on the same terms, as non-leased programmers.

Stogner, who heads the Leased Access Programmers Association, says he is pleased with Copp's new pledge of openness and his effort to try to get rid of the backlog. Stogner has been pushing the FCC for over a year to release a decision on his petition, which was filed back in March of last year.

Stogner says he is paying a hundred dollars a month in eight different places while other non-leased programmers, HBO for example, not only get free satellite reception but operators put up the dish and all the equipment. "It has to do with whether or not leased access users are permitted to avail ourselves of the latest technology," says Stogner.

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps' office had not returned a call on whether the leased access petition was one of the items that could be on the fast, or at least faster, track.

Generally, the FCC is concentrating on the DTV transition in the near term, but Copps said that would not prevent it from moving on some other, noncontroversial, items.