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FCC Public Meeting Start Delayed ... Big-Time

In what has become a predictable start -- make that nonstart -- to Federal Communications Commission public meetings, the FCC's Sept. 11 meeting did not begin at 9:30 a.m. as scheduled, with none of the commissioners seated by 5 p.m..

Numerous meetings have been delayed, sometimes for hours, as commissioners worked on statements or tried to resolve last-minute differences.

Several items were deleted from the agenda as late as Monday night, but still on the docket are votes on renewing the program-access rules and tightening the defnition of the "viewability" of the TV-station signal, or signals, that cable operators must carry.

Both items contain contentious elements that apparently have made marshalling a majority for the chairman, who controls the agenda, problematic.

FCC spokespeople were unavailable for comment on a possible start time.