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FCC Extends Comment Deadline for Mediacom Petition - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Extends Comment Deadline for Mediacom Petition

Grants ACA request for more time to vet proposal
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The FCC's Media Bureau has extended the deadline for comments on Mediacom's petition for changes to the video programming regulatory regime.

The American Cable Association sought a one-month extension and the FCC OK'd it, meaning that initial comments are now due Sept. 29, with reply comments due Oct. 14.

The ACA said that given the key issues raised and the fact that it is a small organization involved in several other proceedings, it needed the time to give it the "serious and careful" study it deserved.

"We believe that granting ACA's request is necessary to facilitate the development of a full record," said the bureau.

On July 21, Mediacom petitioned the FCC for an expedited rulemaking. The cable operator said the relationship between programmers and distributors was broken and that the marketplace is now anti-competitive and anti-consumer.

Mediacom is seeking the following new rule regime:

1. Give MVPDs an a la carte option for new channels or the most expensive

2. Give MVPDs an unbundling option, with information about other offers and bundles

3. Prohibit the blocking or restricting of Internet access to programming as a negotiating tactic in agreements

4. Only allow volume discounts if they can be justified through waivers.

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