ACA Asks FCC For Regulatory Fee Freeze

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The America Cable Association has asked the Federal Communications Commission to freeze regulatory fees for smaller operators at 2008 levels rather than charge them the 10% cable regulatory fee hike and the 25% CARS license regulatory fee hike it is proposing for the cable industry at large.

According to a filing with the FCC Thursday, ACA, which represents over 900 smalll and mid-sized systems, wants the fee waived for systems with 5,000 or fewer subs, noting that keeping up with filings and fees put a "substantial burden" on smaller operators trying to provide video, broadband and telephony in rural markets, but without the larger sub base over which to spread the cost.

ACA points out that the government will need those smaller operators to help roll out broadband to unserved and underserved areas, a priority for the administration's broadband stimulus grant/loan program.

The FCC has to collect some  $341.9 million in regulatory fees for fiscal year 2009, which is how it funds it ongoing operations.

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