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Rep. Cramer Hammers Set-Top Plan on House Floor

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) took to the House floor late Tuesday to tell the FCC to scrap its set-top proposal, saying it could harm the smaller cable operators in his mostly rural state.

Cramer called the FCC proposal an example of government overreach on small businesses.

He pointed out that he has written to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler about the proposal and noted that 175 members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed their concerns.

"If continued modernization in the video industry is the FCC’s goal, then Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rule imposing new government regulations on small businesses is the absolute worst way to innovate," he told his colleagues in a one-minute floor speech.

The American Cable Association has warned that the set-top mandate could cost smaller operators a million dollars apiece and be the death knell for hundreds of them.

Cramer echoed that million-dollar figure in his speech. "That’s $1 million not spent on building out broadband to rural areas, and $1 million not spent on increasing internet speeds," he said.

"Instead of getting into another lengthy legal battle, I urge Chairman Wheeler to drop these proposed rules because of the harm it will inflict on small rural operators and the industry as a whole," he said.

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.