Public Knowledge Slams FCC Effective Competition Call - Broadcasting & Cable

Public Knowledge Slams FCC Effective Competition Call

Praises Dems for dissenting
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Public Knowledge said it is all for streamlining the regulatory process for smaller cable operators, but says Congress did not mean for the FCC to presume that all cable operators are subject to effective competition, as it did in a just voted order.

"Congress directed the FCC to streamline the process by which small cable operators can file petitions with the FCC for finding that they are subject to effective competition, which exempts them from some regulatory oversight," said Public Knowledge senior attorney John Bergmayer. "In general, Public Knowledge agrees that the FCC should do what it can to make regulatory processes simpler for smaller entities."

"However, the FCC has gone beyond Congress's directive, adopting a blanket presumption that all cable operators, large and small, are subject to effective competition. Any analysis that shows that the largest cable companies face effective competition in their local markets is flawed. These companies bundle cable television with high-speed broadband and often have control over valuable programming. They are in a fundamentally different marketplace position than the small cable operators that Congress is concerned with."

He praised Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn for dissenting from the presumption reversal for all cable operators. As for the majority decision, he said that "was not in the public interest."

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