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Public Knowledge: Video's Future Needs Help

John Bergmeyer, senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, says that while the technology exists to eliminate video distributors' bottleneck control, Congress should first take steps to promote that technology -- online video distribution -- before it can "begin to disengage from regulations that were designed to counter the effects of this bottleneck control."

That is according to his prepared testimony for a May 14 state of video hearing in the Senate Communications Subcommittee.

Bergmeyer is all for revamping regs, but only as long as the result is giving viewers more choice of providers and the ability to watch whatever they choose, whenever they choose.

Public Knowledge's recommendations include getting rid of the sports blackout rules, which prevent cable and satellite operators from carrying a sporting event if it is blacked out on broadcast TV -- in the case of the NFL due to the lack of a sellout at the stadium.

It would also extend carriage and access protections to over-the-top providers, look into whether data caps depress online video competition and recommend including over-the-top providers in the definition of MVPD.

Bergmeyer said that the result will be "lower prices, better services, and more flexibility and control for consumers."