ACA: Special Access Request Could Be Unlawful

Group Says Data Collection Would Be Excessive Burden on Members

The American Cable Association has told the FCC that if it does not give its smaller and mid-sized cable operator members some relief from data collection requirements for the agency's review of the special access market, it is in danger of violating the law.

In a 3-2 party line vote in August 2012, the FCC suspended its current benchmarks for deregulating the rates of special-access (business) broadband services while it better determines where there is competition for that service via a data-collection initiative to inform the review of special access regs.

Larger cable operators also complained at the time it would be an extreme burden, but ACA says the burden would fall disproportionately on its smaller members.

"The cost of gathering, collating, and formatting the information will be excessive for small cable operators," said ACA president Matt Polka. "Because the request imposes such large burdens on small cable operators, ACA submits they are not compliant with the Paperwork Reduction Act's directive to minimize the paperwork burden, especially for smaller entities, and needs to be extensively revised before the mandatory data request should be issued."