McCain Expected to Offer Access Bill


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is expected to introduce legislation in early June
that would in certain circumstances require cable operators to carry multiple
Internet-service providers.

A cable-industry source said the bill would shield cable from access
requirements for five years, but it was unclear whether the five years would
toll when service was first offered or when a market had been entirely

McCain confirmed Wednesday that he was working on the legislation but refused
to discuss details.

'We hope to introduce it after the recess,' he said. The Senate returns from
the Memorial Day recess June 3.

A cable source said no access rules would apply in a market where the cable
operator faced a high-speed-data competitor that offered multiple ISPs.

McCain is expected to give the Federal Communications Commission authority to
carry out the provisions of his bill.

A cable source said the FCC could impose access requirements on cable only if
a party seeking access could demonstrate that a cable operator was abusing its
market power.