Pay-TV services delivered by companies like Comcast and Time Warner. "Must-carry" refers to requirments that cable operators provide the signals of local TV broadcasters over their systems.
Rounding out our December meeting will be two matters that were previewed yesterday.
First, the Federal Communications Commission will consider an order that would restore Internet freedom and return to the bipartisan, light-touch framework that helped America's Internet economy become the envy of the world. And unlike the previous Administration, which pushed through its Internet regulations without letting the public see what was being proposed, anyone can read my plan. It's on the Commission's website —more than three weeks before our scheduled vote.
Video subscriber losses doubled and broadband customer increases reached record levels at Comcast in the second quarter, the first full quarter affected by COVID-19. Comcast lost 477,000 video customers in the period, more than double the 224,000 it lost in the prior year. At the same time, broadband had its best second quarter in 13 years, with subscribers rising by 323,000 in the period, compared to an increase of 209,000 in the same period in 2019.
The First Amendment protects us from limits on speech imposed by the government—not private actors—and we should all reject demands, in the name of the First Amendment, for private actors to curate or publish speech in a certain way. I shudder to think of a day in which the Fairness Doctrine could be reincarnated by some other name, especially at the ironic behest of so-called speech “defenders.” Further, like it or not, the First Amendment’s protections apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision making.
Back in 2016, the giant cable company Charter Communications made several promises required by federal regulators as conditions for the approval of a merger deal that would make Charter even more gargantuan. Are you shocked that, now that the merger has long been completed, Charter is asking the Federal Communications Commission to rescind some of those conditions? Me neither. Especially given that the result of any such FCC action would be to allow Charter, which operates its cable and broadband systems under the Spectrum brand, to raise prices on many of its internet users.
The Federal Communications Commission either did or didn't vote to allow cable operators to charge leased access providers a tier-specific rate, but it was unclear what the vote meant (Leased access is the requirement that cable operators over a certain size lease a certain number of channels to unaffiliated programmers at regulated rates.) The issue arose around a Report and Order at the FCC's July 16 meeting.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the July Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 16, 2020:
Items on the Federal Communications Commission's July 2020 agenda:
Comcast Chief Financial Officer Michael Cavanagh said the company has no plans to subsidize the video business with its broadband service -- which has seen record gains over the past several quarters -- adding that the company sees the traditional video/broadband bundle transforming in the future. “Our strategy in video is that video is important because video is a great use of high-speed data,” Cavanagh said, adding that the focus is on connectivity.
FCC, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Advise Governors on Importance of Communications
In joint letters Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs encouraged the nation's governors to provide necessary access and resources to the communications workers helping to keep Americans connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC and CISA recommend the governors:
The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau, in consultation with the Enforcement Bureau, waives the broad outreach requirements of the FCC's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) recruitment rules in the limited circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.