FCC Grants UCC One-Week Extension on Leased-Access Comments

Federal Communications Commission Gives United Church of Christ Until April 11

The Federal Communications Commission gave the United Church of Christ and others until April 11 to file comments opposing a request that the FCC take no action on changes it approved last November to cable's leased-access rules.

The UCC petition was due April 4, but the FCC Friday decided to give the church's Office of Communication an extra week.

UCC argued that it did not have sufficient time to reply given that it did not have access to the stay request, sought by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, until March 31, giving it only four days to respond.

The commission concluded that since the new rules don't take effect until May 31, "a one-week extension of the time for filing oppositions will not prejudice any party."

The NCTA argued that the new cap on leased-access rates and tougher reporting requirements for cable operators were an unreasonable departure from precedent that will "irreparably harm" cable operators and programmers by "purposely encouraging a flood of new commercial leased-access users," which will force operators to "rearrange and remove existing programming."