ACA Storms Washington

Small and midsized cable operators did not let rain, nor snow nor the threat of a government shutdown stop them from attending the American Cable Association’s 25th Anniversary Summit in Washington last week. Besides speeches and panels, operators came to pitch federal officials and lawmakers on the need to recognize the additional weight of regulation on smaller, independent providers.

ACA members are on the front lines of the rural broadband rollout that is a priority for both the FCC and the Trump administration.

Speaking to the Summit on Wednesday (March 21), FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that outside the Beltway, the top consumer complaint is not about blocking content, it is about access and competition. That requires the kind of private investment ACA members pony up, which is why he says overregulation is a problem, one he sought to address with his rollback of the 2015 Title II order. Pai said key reasons why the public benefits when smaller operators succeed are that they help close the digital divide and they drive competition.

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.