Breaking: Divided FCC Approves New Cable Rules
An AP newswire article, via PhysOrg.com, reports that:
A sharply divided Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along partisan lines Wednesday to impose new measures meant to ensure that local governments do not block new competitors from entering the cable television market.More here.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin also released a new pricing report that showed in 2004, rates for basic and expanded cable, which account for about 84 percent of subscribers, rose 5.2 percent. Over a 10-year period, rates had increased a total of 93 percent, the report said.
The new franchising rules will require local cable franchising authorities to act on new applications from competitors with access to local rights-of-way within 90 days, and within six months for other new competitors.
The FCC will also ban local governments from forcing new competitors to build out new systems more quickly than the incumbent carriers and to count certain costs required of new carriers to go toward the 5 percent franchise fee they must pay.