The National Cable & Telecommunications Association was
celebrating a big victory Tuesday with the FCC's decision to sunset the analog/digital
dual must-carry mandate for hybrid cable system
after a 6-month transition period.
"We commend Chairman Genachowski and other Commissioners for
the adoption of a forward-looking, pro-consumer order that will promote the
deployment of faster broadband and the expansion of new and exciting digital
services," NCTA President Michael Powell said in a statement following the
FCC's release of the order, which was voted late Monday in advance of the June
12 deadline after which the mandate would have sunset immediately. "With
the majority of all households now enjoying digital services, the cable
industry will maximize its bandwidth to provide innovative services that
connect consumers to things they care about most. And while some customers have
yet to make the transition to digital, cable providers will continue to work
hard to make that conversion as smooth as possible."
The FCC said in the order that key to making it work will be
sufficient notice to customers, provisions of converter boxes at no more than
$2 a month and no groundswell of complaint from viewers, which could
potentially trigger reinstatement of the analog carriage mandate on a
Broadcasters had lobbied hard against the sunset, saying it
could adversely affect millions of viewers.