The cable companies are in deep trouble because FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has decided to regulate cable and in so doing ensure there is more competition. They will for example make sure access to spare channels by other content providers is done at a reasonable cost.
It is obvious to me the cable companies are getting the short end of the FCC stick. In fact I am not sure the FCC will be giving any sort of stick to the cable companies this Christmas. Even the lump of coal Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Comcast were expecting may not be in the stocking – don’t they know how bad coal is for the environment?
There is an arcane law on the books called the 70/70 rule which is being used as the basis for the FCC to get involved in regulating this market.
The rule says that if 70% of households in the US have cable access and 70% of those that do use cable, the agency can step in and regulate it.
This is great for consumers in my opinion but is also coming at a time which is incomprehensible to me.
If you want true cable competition, it seems to make more sense to ensure network neutrality is enforced. If this is done then any broadcaster from around the world can compete with the cable companies.
Getting involved in the nitty gritty of broadcasting and programming makes almost no sense, is counterproductive and a waste of taxpayers money. The better decision may be to just open up the pipes so that any company can provide programming at maximum speed.
I respectfully ask Chairman Martin to consider ensuring Network Neutrality on all broadband connections as a way to ensure the cable companies (or any other companies for that matter) do not get too powerful.