Washington -- The National Cable & Telecommunications Association hired a
pair of consultants to deliver a blunt message to the Federal Communications
Commission: dump the experimental economics study.
The FCC turned to Penn State University professor Anthony M. Kwasnica to
conduct laboratory experiments to develop quasi-empirical data on cable operator
behavior in the program acquisition market under certain scenarios.
The FCC is hoping to use the data in crafting rules that place limits on
cable system ownership nationally.
In a report to the FCC on Thursday, NCTA consultants Dr. Carl Shapiro of the
University of California at Berkeley and Dr. John Woodbury of Charles River
Associates said the experimental studies were riddled with flaws and were
unreliable as a proxy for real world conditions.
NCTA attached a letter to the report endorsing the conclusion that the FCC
not 'use this study as the basis for any rulemaking.'
FCC officials said they expect to adopt new cable ownership rules by the end
of the year.
Under FCC rules struck down by a federal court, a cable operator was barred
from serving more than 30 percent of all pay-TV subscribers.