FCC Rejects Petitions to Narrow Effective Competition Proposal

Media Bureau: Free to Examine All Issues

The FCC has rejected a petition by the National Association of Broadcasters and Public Knowledge to narrow the scope of its proposal to presume cable operators are subject to effective competition, and thus to deregulation of basic rates, unless proved otherwise.

Currently, the presumption is that cable operators are not and they must prove they are, though the FCC has granted virtually all of those requests thanks in part to the ubiquitous competition from satellite MVPDs.

NAB and Public Knowledge had contended that the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was broader than the section of the satellite license renewal legislation (STELAR) that required the FCC to revisit the effective competition regime.

They said Congress had never meant for the FCC to consider reversing the presumption.

The FCC's Media Bureau disagreed, saying the FCC has clear authority to propose what it proposed and that it is considering all issues.

It also denied their request, in the alternative, for more time to comment on the proposal.