Will FCC crack whip against cable?

Reports over the weekend suggested the Federal Communications Commission is about to revise cable TV regulation to reflect what it says is the cable TV industry crossing of the "70/70" threshold. That means that, according to studies the FCC is relying on, cable TV is available to 70% of U.S homes, and that 70% of those residents subscribe to cable TV. At least one result of this revision would be that cable TV companies and programmers would have to unbundle their offerings. This could also help rival carriers, such as telcos, to broaden their telco TV offerings.

  This is the latest step in the FCC's effort to crack down on traditional cable TV models, such as tiered pricing packages, that cable TV critics say have helped contribute to much higher cable TV fees and greater difficulty for independent programmers to reach wider audiences. The cable TV players have fought against that campaign with the same intensity that large telcos have fought for forbearance from access charge regulation in their own industry. For now, the FCC seems more concerned with how cable TV companies, rather than telcos, might dominant their traditional markets.

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