Multichannel News

Net Neutrality Bill Clears Second Hurdle After Marathon Markup

After over nine hours of debate over mostly failed amendments, and delays, legislation that would re-regulate internet access by reinstating the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 Open Internet Order's Title II-based net neutrality rules is on its way to a vote in the full House, where it is likely to pass. An amended version of the Save the Internet Act (HR 1644) was approved by the House Commerce Committee on a party-line vote.

FCC Seeks Postponement of Net Neutrality Oral Argument

With the US.Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit signaling it planned to hold the Feb. 1 oral argument in Mozilla vs.

Moody’s Raises Cable Outlook to ‘Positive’

Moody’s Investors Service raised its rating on the cable television sector to “positive” from “negative,” fueled mainly by expected growth in broadband. Moody’s expects cash flow in the sector to rise more than 5% over the next 12-to-18 months, based on the continued rise in broadband customers due to the pandemic. Moody’s noted that cable broadband subscribers grew by about 2.5% (3.5 million customers) in Q2, and market penetration rose to 50% in the period, compared to 48% in the prior year. This despite video and voice customer declines in the 4-6% range annually.

Mignon Clyburn Praises Public/Private Partnership

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn made a case for the "public/private" partnership of regulator/industry as the blueprint for advancing a more diverse and inclusive media landscape.

Judge Barrett Could Help Take a Bite Out of 'Chevron'

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s pick to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, could well help shift the Supreme Court’s view of how much deference to give decisions by agencies like the Federal Communications Commission. The doctrine of Chevron deference, established by the Supreme Court in the 1984 case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. vs. Natural Resources Defense Council, established the legal test for when courts should defer to the expertise of a regulatory agency.

Next Century Cities Asks California Governor For Special Broadband Bill Session

Next Century Cities wants the governor to bring the California legislature back for a special session to consider a broadband bill, SB1130. Under current law, California's broadband deployment plan is that no later than Dec. 31, 2022, the state will approve funding for infrastructure projects "that will provide broadband access to no less than 98% of California households."  The new law would stretch that timeline by two years, but up the ante on what broadband must be deployed. "[N]o later than Dec.

Commissioner O'Rielly: Not Seeking Help in Staying on FCC

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly will be leaving when his term ends [either with the Senate confirmation of a successor or by January, whichever comes first] and signaled his supporters don't need to advocate for keeping him on the FCC.

Commissioner Rosenworcel Cites Home Broadband Load in Meeting Freeze

Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel's screen froze just as FCC Chairman was asking for her vote during the commission's Sept 30 meeting. When Commissioner Rosenworcel rejoined the virtual meeting, she suggested the freeze was because of the demand on her home's broadband service. "We have problems in the house with multiple kids going to online school and a spouse who is working as well," she said. Commissioner Rosenworcel has been a big proponent of boosting the FCC's definition of high-speed service given that increased COVID-19-related demand on home broadband.

Cox Investing $60 Million to Close Distance Learning Gap

Saying the COVID-19 pandemic can't be allowed to create an "irreversible" learning gap for students without access to the internet, Cox is teaming up with Common Sense Media to try and do something about it. Cox is pledging $60 million over the next year to help close the digital learning divide. Cox will also extend its offer to new Connect2Compete customers. If they sign up by year's end, they will get two months free, followed by $9.95 per month internet. Cox's outdoor WiFi hotspots will also remain open to all comers.