ACA Seeks More Time to Comment on FCC Set-Top Proposal

The American Cable Association has asked the FCC for 30 more days to file initial comments on the FCC's proposed navigation device/set-top Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Initial comments are currently due April 15 and May 16, respectively.

ACA says the 30 days provided for opening comments—after they were published in the Federal Register—is insufficient "for MVPDs that operate diverse networks under a variety of financial circumstances to adequately evaluate the proposal’s impact," and even less so for smaller operators with few staffers.

Citing the "tremendous complexity" of the rules, ACA wants the deadline for initial comments extended another 30 days.

"Additional time to analyze and prepare comments for the Commission’s consideration in this proceeding is particularly important when considering such sweeping changes to the MVPD operating environment because, if adopted as written, these regulations could threaten the continued operations of many smaller MVPDs," ACA said.

Following several weeks of almost constant public lobbying and importuning from both sides of the issue and the political aisle, a divided Federal Communications Commission voted Feb. 18 to approve chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal for "unlocking" the cable set top and letting third parties access the content and programming and integrate it into their own navigation devices and online video lineups.

John Eggerton

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.