ACA’s Broadband Principles

[Commentary] In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission imposed Title II common-carrier regulation on us, in one of the biggest policy shifts in FCC history. This FCC action has divided the industry into hostile camps — ISPs on one side, edge providers on the other. American Cable Association is fighting to roll back these harmful regulations. A court ruling is expected in the near future. Another challenge is retransmission consent. Retrans fees soar while broadcast ratings sink. Why? Because broadcast stations exploit outdated federal rules to gouge viewers. ACA’s persistent efforts encouraged the FCC to open a rulemaking to review its rules that require TV stations and multichannel video programming distributors to negotiate in good faith. ACA submitted numerous recommendations for determining whether certain conduct is a per se violation of good faith or, at the very least, evidence of bad faith: Here are just a few:

It’s bad faith for a TV station to insist on bundling top four-rated broadcast signals with regional sports networks or other “must have” programming.
It’s bad faith for a TV station to black out linear programming before “marquee” events.
It’s bad faith for a TV station to black out online programming to gain leverage.

[Robert Gessner is the chairman of the American Cable Association]


ACA’s Broadband Principles