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NATOA Pushes FCC for Decision

The association representing local cable franchising authorities asked the Federal Communications Commission to decide, one way or the other, on a petition for ruling it filed in December.

The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Dec. 21 asked the FCC to stay enforcement of its decision to streamline the franchising process for cable and telephone companies, including instituting a shot clock on negotiations with cities, after which operators can opt for a default franchise agreement.

“The commission has failed to respond to our request for stay for over 60 days," NATOA said Monday. "All we want the commission to do is to grant or deny our request. This foot-dragging on behalf of the commission is hypocritical, especially when a majority of the commission believes it is reasonable to impose arbitrary deadlines on local government franchising decisions.”

The group -- along with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Alliance for Community Media and the Alliance for Communications Democracy -- wrote FCC chairman Kevin Martin Monday asking for a response as to why nothing had happened while putting in another pitch for a stay.

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.