FCC Delays Meeting Again...And Again - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Delays Meeting Again...And Again

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The FCC has pushed back the start time of its Friday meeting to...Monday.

The meeting, which had already been moved from earlier in the month,  was to have started at 10 a.m., then  it was going to be 2 p.m., then 5 p.m.
The FCC was expected to approve the mergers of Verizon-MCI and AT&T-SBC, although with only four commissioners, two Republicans and two Democrats, there was reportedly last-minute wrangling on what conditions the FCC would put on the merger.
The Justice Department signed off on both mergers Thursday with minimal conditions relating to leasing fiber lines to buildings.
Consumer groups argue that letting the biggest local and long-distance carriers get together will give those companies a lock on phone service, but the Justice Department pointed to increasing voice competition from cable.

In other FCC meeting-scheduling news, the commission has put out the agenda for its Nov. 3 meeting (an October date was delayed a couple of weeks, which explains the meetings' close proximity).

On the docket, as expected, is Chairman Kevin Martin's proposal that the FCC help telcos get local franchises, at least by preventing localities from making it too tough, as well as two digital TV-related issues, a DTV-tuner mandate and the use of distributed transmission systems by DTV stations.

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