Sohn: Title II Should Have No Adverse Impact on Small Operators

Washington, D.C. — Gigi Sohn, a top aide to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, said Wednesday that the FCC’s Title II order was a light-touch approach to new regulations that should not have any adverse impact on smaller cable operators.

That came in a discussion with American Cable Association exec Ross Lieberman at the association’s annual summit in Washington. Lieberman said he would have to agree to disagree with Sohn on that point. Elsewhere at the convention, ACA execs said Title II would likely mean rate regulation and it had not ruled out suing the FCC.

Sohn said the chairman believes that “Light-touch Title II is not going to affect your businesses in any negative way.” She said the FCC is not applying 27 of 43 provisions, and the ones it is applying are on things like privacy protections, protections against billing fraud, and protections for the disabled. She said she hoped they could all agree those were important values, and as cable operators they were subject to privacy protections already. “I don’t want to be so glib as to say these are 'sleeves off the vest,’ because they are requirements,” she said, “but I don’t think you will find them burdensome.”

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John Eggerton

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.