Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cable Companies vs. The FCC

Ever wonder why you cannot have 'a la carte' packages when you fork over money to cable companies ? Well the answer is the FCC. Back in 1984 the FCC passed a de-rugulaltion initiative and since then the Cable companies have had free reign to steal our money, however their was a provision left in. I don't want to pay for CMT, EWTN or even BET but under the current arrangement we have no choice. Kevin Martin, Chairman of the FCC has recently been grumbling about possible real change under a non-utilized provision of US law called the 70/70 rule.

The 70/70 rule allows for serious intervention by the FCC if two situations are met. The provision states:

"at such time that cable systems operating 36 or more activated channels are available to 70 percent of households in the United States and are subscribed to by 70 percent of households to which they are available, the Commission may promulgate any additional rules necessary to provide diversity of information sources."

What is currently up in the air are if both 70 percent thresholds have been met. Mr. Martin is a strong proponent of the 'a la carte' system mainly because of its parent friendly. He also has a good relationship with the telecom companies and if this 70/70 standard is met, then he will like look for regulation Finally more options, the U.S. May be finally looking like more of a free market. Much more on this story from ArsTechnica.com check this link: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071113-fcc-wants-to-regulate-cable-could-force-a-la-carte-on-industry.html

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