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FCC Kills Cable Program Access Rules
Required Competitors Get Access to Cable Owned Content
by Karl Bode 08:16AM Friday Oct 19 2012
In a recent report and order (pdf), the FCC announced they'll be letting rules expire requiring that cable operators provide access to content their own (like local sports channels) at reasonable terms. Instead, competitors will need to complain to the FCC on a case-by-case basis if they're being discriminated against by an incumbent cable operator (see: Google Fiber in Kansas City). Somehow FCC boss Julius Genachowski argued that fewer rules protecting consumers was a good thing. "The FCC is focused on promoting competition and protecting consumers in the evolving video market," Genachowski said in a statement. "Today’s unanimous decision enables the FCC to continue preventing anticompetitive video distribution arrangements through a legally sustainable, expeditious, case-by-case review."

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treetop1000

join:2003-11-07
Lexington, KY

anticompetitive?

"Today’s unanimous decision enables the FCC to continue preventing anticompetitive video distribution arrangements through a legally sustainable, expeditious, case-by-case review."

Wait....whut?

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: anticompetitive?

said by treetop1000:

"Today’s unanimous decision enables the FCC to continue preventing anticompetitive video distribution arrangements through a legally sustainable, expeditious, case-by-case review."

Wait....whut?

Say wha?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

2 recommendations

Broken System

This is what you get when you let the cable industry vertically integrate, like with the Comcast-NBC merger.

The only way to fix this racket is to break it. Drop Cable TV. Don't feed the beast. Force this racket to fight for your business instead of giving them your money freely.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

jazzlady

join:2005-08-04
Tannersville, PA

2 recommendations

Re: Broken System

said by pnh102:

This is what you get when you let the cable industry vertically integrate, like with the Comcast-NBC merger.

The only way to fix this racket is to break it. Drop Cable TV. Don't feed the beast. Force this racket to fight for your business instead of giving them your money freely.

The problem is that many of us rely on cable internet. When you drop the cable tv part, they jack your bill up.

If I drop my tv, my cable modem bill goes up $15 a month. Granted, $15 a month isn't too terrible, but what's to stop them from raising it $40 or $50 a month to make up for the lost revenue?

This required bundling ought to be illegal.

I have no other options for internet so I'm stuck with the cable company unless I want to go back to dial up, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard...
--
“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Sinclair Lewis

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Broken System

said by jazzlady:

The problem is that many of us rely on cable internet. When you drop the cable tv part, they jack your bill up.

If I drop my tv, my cable modem bill goes up $15 a month. Granted, $15 a month isn't too terrible, but what's to stop them from raising it $40 or $50 a month to make up for the lost revenue?

Agreed, but this for me was my only option.

Although in my particular case, when I downgraded my Internet with Comcast to Economy Plus, I was able to avoid that big of a hit. And, I can still do Netflix streaming and VPN/RDP sessions for working from home.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

jazzlady

join:2005-08-04
Tannersville, PA

Re: Broken System

said by pnh102:

said by jazzlady:

The problem is that many of us rely on cable internet. When you drop the cable tv part, they jack your bill up.

If I drop my tv, my cable modem bill goes up $15 a month. Granted, $15 a month isn't too terrible, but what's to stop them from raising it $40 or $50 a month to make up for the lost revenue?

Agreed, but this for me was my only option.

Although in my particular case, when I downgraded my Internet with Comcast to Economy Plus, I was able to avoid that big of a hit. And, I can still do Netflix streaming and VPN/RDP sessions for working from home.

I understand completely.

Between this news, and the news yesterday about the FCC allowing cableco's to encrypt basic cable- I am thinking of dropping it also.

If I have to rent converter boxes/remotes my tv cost will go from $70 a month to $120- just for the tv part.

If that happens I may look into a commercial account with the same provider, if it has no caps, or reasonable ones.

They sure have consumers by the short and curly's, that''s for sure. :-(
--
“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Sinclair Lewis

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Agreed, it's called penalty pricing.

It's an anti-competitive behavior to extract more money from savvy consumers who want to vote with their wallet--- and are penalized for it.

It's NOT a "Bundling discount" it's a PENALTY for not giving them more of your cash.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

3 recommendations

I do not get why Cable is allowed to own any content. If General Mills, Kraft, Kellogs, etc tried to buy up a major supermarket chain the FTC would drop the hammer on them, Same thing with the reverse. somehow though the FTC and FCC ignore this issue with the cable and entertainment industries.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Broken System

said by Kearnstd:

somehow though the FTC and FCC ignore this issue with the cable and entertainment industries.

History is literally repeating itself... recall the old Hollywood Studio System.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

mech1164
I'll Be Back

join:2001-11-19
Lodi, NJ

1 recommendation

Re: Broken System

said by pnh102:

said by Kearnstd:

somehow though the FTC and FCC ignore this issue with the cable and entertainment industries.

History is literally repeating itself... recall the old Hollywood Studio System.

Agreed there and it took an act of congress to Break them. FCC is just as bought and sold as all the other parts of DC. That may change I just don't hold out hope for it.
PhilU
Premium
join:2012-02-04

1 recommendation

That makes about as much sense as...

...the cable companies saying they're raising prices and capping your usage to give you a better experience.

Sounds like they've been sleeping together.

dmolavi
Premium
join:2005-04-11
Sewell, NJ
Reviews:
·ViaTalk

Pardon my uncaffeinated ignorance...

...but is this basically reinforcing the "terrestrial loophole" that Crapcast and others were using to keep local sports channels from FiOS and satellite subs?
--
NukedGallery.net
GalleryModules.com

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Re: Pardon my uncaffeinated ignorance...

said by dmolavi:

...but is this basically reinforcing the "terrestrial loophole" that Crapcast and others were using to keep local sports channels from FiOS and satellite subs?

No, I think this is more in line with now that companies like Comcast OWN the distribution AND the content, they will now be able to charge such high rates to competitors that it will not be feasible for the programs to be carried by other distributors.

So if there is content being produced by NBC and you now have the choice of seeing it on Comcast or FiOS because of the rule keeping the cost down to Verizon, Comcast can now raise the rates so high, that it would not be profitable for Verizon to carry. So in essence to see the wide variety of content you are used to from one source, you may have to subscribe to Comcast and FiOS both.
dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA

Re: Pardon my uncaffeinated ignorance...

But what if I cannot subscribe to both FiOS and Comcast because Comcast is not the local cable franchise and it is not profitable for any of the other cable operators either? I won't be able to watch that content at all even if I wanted to.

dw

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Re: Pardon my uncaffeinated ignorance...

Exactly.. Hence why everyone has been so against things like the Comcast/NBC deal.

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV

1 recommendation

Then you either won't get comcast content OR your bill will skyrocket. Just wait for nfl network and espn/abc/disney to raise their rates through the roof. People won't be able to afford tv. Our bills will be well over $200 a month.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Pardon my uncaffeinated ignorance...

said by mikedz4:

Then you either won't get comcast content OR your bill will skyrocket. Just wait for nfl network and espn/abc/disney to raise their rates through the roof. People won't be able to afford tv. Our bills will be well over $200 a month.

And then the content owners will see a spike in Piracy and go crying to the government to crack down.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Expeditious Case By Case Review

Let's contact webster.com and dictionary.com and let both of them know the FCC has given a new, absolutely perfect example that clearly demonstrates the definition of an oxymoron.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

PEG programming

I would like to see the FCC abolish the rules that require cable providers to provide public, educational, and government access programming. Why should I pay a stupid franchise fee to fund this nonsense programming that 99.96 percent of the cable subscribers never watch anyways.

The franchise fee used to be $1.24 added to a cable bill. Now it is five percent of the total bill and the cost of my triple play bundle drives it up.

PEG access channels have no useful value other than taking money from cable subscribers. I wish I could opt out of this nonsense by having Comcast either put a trap on the line or deauthorizing these channels on my receivers.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: PEG programming

You better be careful or by many people's logic here you'll be nothing more than Mitt Romney trying to kill Big Bird.

I personally agree with you. I don't think that people are suffering getting their content out to people now that we have the internet. Hell, a politician can't even hide anything any more as almost every move is put up on YouTube.

Schools and local government can simply just stream their stuff to the web and make it available there. As I see it, that frees up a good solid channel that can be used for better/faster internet service.

And while we're at it, I'd also love to see them end the mandated cash cow gravy train called local programming as well. The day that local TV stations were able to mandate a charge for their channel/programming was the day they should have lost their tier 1 mandate buy-through status. If they want to be kept on Tier 1 as to have the exposure to every subscriber in their market, then they should provide the signal at no charge.. but if they want money for their feeds, they should go into a local tier or ala cart that the consumer can subscribe to IF they want.. I for one would not subscribe being my antenna picks them up just fine with out cable.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: PEG programming

I do watch the local newscasts on WWLP-TV throughout various parts of the day (particularly the Noon broadcasts and 5/6 pm and NBC nightly news. I like having it come in on cable because the picture is much better and you don't have reception problems. I grew up on OTA TV but ended up getting cable back when I was in high school because we've had it with lousy picture quality that made it impossible to watch TV. I watched Cops years ago on KFXA and the picture was so distorted that it was unwatchable (when I lived in Iowa) so switching from OTA to cable was a dream come true. We could not afford cable in my younger years but our financial situation changed and we got cable.

I now have my phone, Internet, and TV through Comcast. No more distorted pictures or unwatchable TV. Also I get more programming. I just don't like the fact I have to buy a so-called "Sports Entertainment Pack" in order to get TCM and Fox Movie Channel. I wish they would renegotiate their carraige agreements because they give a lame excuse on why they just cannot carry them on Digital Preferred. I also don't understand why an SD receiver and an HD receiver are the exact same price (I just swapped a DTA for a full receiver although I opted for an SD since the basement TV is an old Sony tube TV).
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2
said by Google :
A cable television franchise fee in the United States stems from a community's basic right to charge for use of the property it owns. The cable television franchise fees represent part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for the cable operator's occupation and the right-of-way use of public property. A franchise fee is not a tax; it is a rental charge.

So it is your contention that the cable companies should have the right to string their cables up on property they don't own for free? Please tell me your address, I would like to run some cables through your backyard.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: PEG programming

said by CXM_Splicer:

said by Google :
A cable television franchise fee in the United States stems from a community's basic right to charge for use of the property it owns. The cable television franchise fees represent part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for the cable operator's occupation and the right-of-way use of public property. A franchise fee is not a tax; it is a rental charge.

So it is your contention that the cable companies should have the right to string their cables up on property they don't own for free? Please tell me your address, I would like to run some cables through your backyard.

I thought various utilities owned the poles and that Comcast pays the pole owners for attaching their lines. I don't see a franchise fee on my electric bill and they basically use the same right of way. The power company makes money off of Comcast as they lease pole space.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: PEG programming

Fee structures vary greatly between areas. It is possible that your locality doesn't charge the electric company at all, they may have worked out a deal for free or discounted electricity, or it may just be included in the electric bill. Communities have the right (or had if they gave it up) to charge electric and telephone companies franchise fees. They can also pay state & local taxes in addition to franchise fees. Here in NYC, Verizon has to pay a yearly tax on underground cable. If the duct is empty, they don't have to pay. Some states charge utilities a yearly property tax on their poles... not on the land they sit on but the pole itself.

Here in NY, almost all poles are owned by either the electric co or Verizon. Depending on who owns the physical pole, they can charge a cable company to attach to it but it has nothing to do with town franchise agreements.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 edit
said by CXM_Splicer:

So it is your contention that the cable companies should have the right to string their cables up on property they don't own for free? Please tell me your address, I would like to run some cables through your backyard.

If there is a designated right of way through that backyard then yes the franchise does give the cable company the right to run their cables there (not always for free) although I wouldn't call the franchise fee a rental charge. If there is a public street or road at the front of or through your property there is a very good chance you are already paying property taxes on at least part of its right of way. The public thanks you.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: PEG programming

said by Sammer:

said by CXM_Splicer:

So it is your contention that the cable companies should have the right to string their cables up on property they don't own for free? Please tell me your address, I would like to run some cables through your backyard.

If there is a designated right of way through that backyard then yes the franchise does give the cable company the right to run their cables there (not always for free) although I wouldn't call the franchise fee a rental charge. If there is a public street or road at the front of or through your property there is a very good chance you are already paying property taxes on at least part of its right of way. The public thanks you.

Exactly my point... your welcome If you are trying to say they can do it without a franchise agreement then I think you are wrong.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

The FCC is...

Nothing but the lobbyist arm of the "providers" There is no such thing as consumer protection/rights whatever you want to call it. I can see the logic of this (albeit somewhat twisted). IF you own both the content and the distribution of that content, you should be able to dictate how much you are willing to accept to provide that content to others. That's assuming you have NOT accepted or received any public assistance either direct monetary or public/private domain easements. You accept public assistance then you can have public scrutiny and some say-so.
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO

2 recommendations

All I can say is...

THIS GUY IS AN IDIOT.

Could someone check because it sure looks like his paychecks are coming from the very people he is supposed to protect us from.
Secyurityet
Premium
join:2012-01-07
untied state

Re: All I can say is...

said by megarock:

ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THIS GUY IS AN IDIOT.

Fixed it for you

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

cable act of 1996 strikes again

With all of the hoopla over how the cable act of 1996 would spur competition a lot of areas aren't seeing it. True major metro areas are but areas like eastern ohio and most of west virginia aren't seeing competition. Frontier and att haven't said whether they will deploy faster internet or tv services here but I doubt it.

jazzlady

join:2005-08-04
Tannersville, PA

1 recommendation

Re: cable act of 1996 strikes again

said by mikedz4:

With all of the hoopla over how the cable act of 1996 would spur competition a lot of areas aren't seeing it. True major metro areas are but areas like eastern ohio and most of west virginia aren't seeing competition. Frontier and att haven't said whether they will deploy faster internet or tv services here but I doubt it.

Those in rural areas will get screwed, as usual.
--
“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Sinclair Lewis

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

When will FCC get it?

Name one home in America where two or more telco, two or more ISPs and two or more cable operators are competing for the same Household dollar?

NONE.

Name one or more cities that is allowed to own and operate its own ISP and offer services to its own residents?

NONE

FCC doesn't get it and neither does Congress.

Dish and Direct TV compete across 100% of America. They compete where there is NO service.

Cable does not like competition. Telco doesn't like competition.

Guess who is buying which vote and where?

The companies that are shelling out millions of bucks to STOP satellite competition do NOT serve even 25% of America. They do NOT serve rural America at all. And their services are far more EXPENSIVE.

A washed out, end-of-neighborhood cable signal does not compare in picture quality to a satellite signal. And not all Americans can even receive a RADIO station at home. I know I can't.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside