NCTA Urges Minimal Regulation of Modems


The National Cable & Telecommunications Association Monday called on
federal regulators to minimize regulation of the industry's high-speed
Internet-access service.

In comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission, the NCTA urged
the agency to promote cable's investment and development of broadband by
refraining from requiring cable operators to carry unaffiliated Internet-service

'Forced access is not necessary to achieve, nor would it promote, any
statutory task. Moreover, it is flatly at odds with the statutory `policy of the
United States . to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that
presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services,
unfettered by federal or state regulation,'' the trade group said.

In March, the FCC classified cable-modem service as an interstate information
service. The commission also launched a rulemaking asking, among other things,
whether it was necessary or appropriate to require cable carriage of multiple

The NCTA also urged the FCC to use its authority to eliminate state and local
regulations that force incumbent cable operators to obtain cable-modem
franchises or require the payment of franchise fees.

Many fees on cable-modem service are actually taxes prohibited by the
Internet Tax Freedom Act, the group added.