In a ruling that will have many scratching their heads, including legislators who wrote language into a bill that the FCC used as a launching pad going well beyond Congressional intent, the Commission has determined that there is MVPD competition everywhere unless proven otherwise.
The vote was said to be 3-2.
Numerous legislators pointed out to the Commission that the FCC had gone far beyond its marching orders to make things easier for small rural cable operators and instead gave a gift to the very largest companies.
NAB Executive VP Dennis Wharton stated, “The FCC decision clearly contradicts language expressly written into statute by Congress just six months ago in the satellite TV bill. Moreover, it’s disappointing and surprising that as cable customer satisfaction ratings plunge to a record low, the FCC believes it is wise to gut the one protection that allows local municipalities a chance to protect consumers from abusive treatment and consistently skyrocketing rates.
“NAB salutes the 16 U.S.Senators, ranking House Commerce Committee member Pallone, and more than a dozen public interest groups, who fought to protect consumers against monopoly cable rates.”