Skip to main content

ACA: FCC Special Access Order Needs Fixing

The American Cable Association has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to "roll back" information collection requirements in the FCC's special access data collection order

Like the larger cable operators represented by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, ACA thinks the data collection violates the Paperwork Reduction Act, but it says that is especially true when it comes to its midsized and smaller members, on whom the collection is a particular burden since its members don't collect much of the information in the normal course of business.

ACA says that according to its reckoning, its members would have to spend between $50,000 and 41.5 million to comply and spend hundreds of hours doing it.

ACA at the least wants the data collection requirement modified so smaller operators don't have to create specialized fiber maps and can provide data they already collect.

“Although the FCC clarified the scale and format for reporting fiber routes, it did not address the basic, underlying fact that few cable operators have these maps in the requested format," said ACA President Matt Polka. "Thus, it would cost cable operators many millions of dollars to comply,” Polka said.

OMB must approve any new FCC data collections per the Paperwork Reduction Act and if the OMB determines collection is unduly burdensome, stakeholders will not have to comply with the order until the FCC corrects the deficiency.

The FCC submitted the order last month for OMB approval, including with some concessions to cable operators, but not enough to make it palatable.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.