Thursday, June 26, 2008

Court of Appeals Upholds FCC Video Franchise Rules.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled unanimously to support the FCC's local franchising authority rules for new entrants in video services.


"Over the last ten years, cable rates have more than doubled. Consumers need greater choice and more competition to help address the soaring price of cable television. This ruling helps ensure that new competitors to cable are not subjected to unreasonable delays, build-out requirements and fees when trying to compete with the incumbent cable operators," stated FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.http://www.fcc.gov

  • In December 2006, The FCC voted 3-to-2 to approve new rules that prohibit local franchising authorities from unreasonably refusing to award competitive franchises for the provision of cable services. The vote was seen as a victory for A&T, Verizon and other telephone providers seeking to enter the market for video services.


    The majority of FCC commissioners concluded that the current franchising process required by local municipalities constitutes an unreasonable barrier to entry that impedes the achievement of the interrelated federal goals of enhanced cable competition and accelerated broadband deployment.


    The new rules prohibit towns or cities from engaging new market entrants in drawn-out local negotiations with no time limits; unreasonable build-out requirements; unreasonable requests for "in-kind" payments that attempt to subvert the five percent cap on franchise fees; and unreasonable demands with respect to public, educational and government access.

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