INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Vote to Regulate Cable TV in Jeopardy

[November 27, 2007]

Vote to Regulate Cable TV in Jeopardy

(AP Online Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) WASHINGTON_An effort to expand government control over cable programming appeared destined to fail Tuesday, as regulators faced intense pressure from industry lobbyists and like-minded lawmakers.

A recent Federal Communications Commission report promoted by the agency's chairman, Kevin Martin, found that cable TV reaches a wide enough U.S. audience to trigger a rule within a 1984 law that would give the government significant new powers to ensure program diversity.


The cable industry disputes the data underlying the report, which the FCC was scheduled to vote on Tuesday, though it has refused to make its subscriber data public.

That left Martin, who lacks enough support from the five-member commission to approve the report as is, reaching for a last-minute compromise on Tuesday _ a process that caused the FCC to delay its meeting by more than five hours.

Martin told reporters that commissioners were discussing the possibility of forcing cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. to provide subscriber data so it could be included in a revised version of the report for the commission to vote on. The initial report, which Martin released two weeks ago, seemed destined for the scrap heap.

The FCC meeting was initially scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EST, though by 3:30 p.m. it wasn't clear whether the issue would remain on the agenda or if the meeting would occur.

The cable subscriber threshold in dispute is known as the 70/70 rule, whereby 70 percent of U.S. households have access to cable and 70 percent of those households subscribe.

To prove the threshold has been reached, the FCC is using data from publishing company Warren Communications, which Martin said could still be used as part of a wider report.

But the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said large cable operators _ representing 80 percent of the industry _ already provide the FCC with annual data on market penetration, which the industry argues is still well below the 70 percent threshold.

If granted further authority by a triggering of the 70/70 rule, Martin could push through other proposals disliked by the cable industry, including a so-called a la carte service model that would allow subscribers to pick and choose channels they want rather than accepting bundled packages from cable companies.

The agency's two Republican commissioners, Deborah Taylor Tate and Robert McDowell, have questioned whether the report's subscriber data are accurate. Jonathan Adelstein, one of two Democratic commissioners, has also expressed reservations.

Republican House Leader John Boehner of Ohio said last week in a letter to Martin that the FCC shouldn't expand its regulatory authority when there's ample competition. Twenty-three Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week also said the FCC shouldn't use the rule to impose new mandates on the cable industry.

Federal regulators also decided Tuesday to postpone voting on a proposal that, if approved, would have required broadcasters to lease excess channels to small businesses owned by women and minorities.

Martin, who said the commissioners needed more time discussing the issue, has championed the plan in past speeches to increase diversity in programming and media ownership. The excess channels would have been available following the nation's digital transition in early 2009.

But the cable industry is fearful the agency would force cable companies to carry those channels, which it strongly opposes.

Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, contends the proposal dealing with minority ownership of channels could actually have resulted in less media diversity by forcing other programming off the air.

Dietz said the FCC also has twice before rejected must-carry programming over the last several years.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.