Sachs: Let’s keep cable in control


At a House Telecommunications Subcommittee hearing Mondaay on the regulatory
status of broadband services, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert Sachs made the cable
industry’s pitch for not treating Internet-service providers as common-carrier services.

Sachs cited the Federal Communications Commission’s decision in 1999, after
intensive study, not to "burden" cable with common-carriage regulations on its
ISP services, which, he said, was one of the reasons why cable was able to invest in
broadband infrastructure.

"Our industry committed to building out broadband networks aggressively if we
were not burdened by costly and intrusive regulation. The FCC’s decision not to
head down the road of regulation allowed us to keep our commitment," Sachs

But if the FCC decides to rethink its classification and subject digital-subscriber-line and
cable-modem services to equivalent regulation, Sachs argued, it should institute
"deregulatory parity."

Sachs said the FCC should remove regulations on cable's competitors before it adds
regulation to the cable business.

"Imposing legacy phone regulations on cable for no reason other than to
achieve regulatory parity would harm consumers by raising the price or lowering
the quality of cable-modem service," he added.