ACA: FCC Special Access Order Needs Fixing

Tells OMB It's Unduly Burdensome on Smaller Operators

 The American Cable Association has asked the Office of Management and Budget to "roll back" information collection requirements in the FCC's special access data collection order

Like the larger cable operators represented by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, ACA thinks the data collection violates the Paperwork Reduction Act, but it says that is especially true when it comes to its midsized and smaller members, on whom the collection-- is a particular burden since its members don't collect much of the information in the normal course of business.

ACA, according to its reckoning, says its members would have to spend between $50,000 and $41.5 million to comply and spend hundreds of hours doing it.

ACA at the least wants the data collection requirement modified so smaller operators don't have to create specialized fiber maps and can provide data they already collect.

“Although the FCC clarified the scale and format for reporting fiber routes, it did not address the basic, underlying fact that few cable operators have these maps in the requested format," said ACA president Matt Polka. "Thus, it would cost cable operators many millions of dollars to comply,” Polka said.

OMB must approve any new FCC data collections per the Paperwork Reduction Act and if the OMB determines collection is unduly burdensome, stakeholders will not have to comply with the order until the FCC corrects the deficiency.

The FCC submitted the order last month for OMB approval, including with some concessions to cable operators , but not enough to make it palatable.