OMB OKs FCC Effective Competition Paperwork

The FCC's decision to presume cable operators have effective competition, effectively lifting rate regulations unless local franchising authorities or others could prove otherwise, has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

That is according to a notice in the Federal Register published this week.

The FCC announced via that Federal Register notice that OMB had approved, for at least the next three years, the information collection requirements in the Report and Order, which include franchising authorities having to provide evidence of a lack of competition.

On June 3, the Commission released its decision adopting "the rebuttable presumption that cable operators are subject to competing provider effective competition," based primarily on the ubiquity of satellite competition—the FCC had approved virtually all ISP requests for an effective competition designation in the past several years.

The commission was under a mandate in the STELAR satellite law to take action to reduce the burdens of effective competition filings on smaller businesses, but decided it made sense to reverse the presumption for all operators given its granting of virtually all those requests from ISPs.

No new agency rule involving new paperwork requirements is effective until OMB says it does not constitute an undue paperwork burden (per the Paperwork Reduction Act).

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.