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FCC Martin's Fall Offensive
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:15:02 -0400

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From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: September 10, 2008 11:11:23 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] FCC Martin's Fall Offensive


Many in the cable-TV industry expect Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin to make a final run at passing rules he has been passionate about, including an overhaul of the wholesale cable programming market. Observers say Chairman Martin has the agency poised to jump back into the a la carte imbroglio, make major changes to cable's program-access and program-carriage rules and could also require cable operators to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more each year to attach their wires to telephone poles. Martin's biggest enemy is the clock. If Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) is elected president, Martin would likely surrender his gavel to FCC Democrats Jonathan Adelstein or Michael Copps in January. If Sen John McCain (R-AZ) is the next president, Martin could be around late into next year, especially if McCain is preoccupied with more pressing political issues. Historically, it takes three or four months — and in the case of the Clinton administration, 11 months before Reed Hundt was on board — to get an FCC chairman appointed and confirmed," said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, president of public-interest law firm the Media Access Project. With McCain in the White House, however, Martin might not have the political support to enact new cable regulations that he did under Bush. That's one big reason cable executives are worried about Martin's agenda — especially in terms of a la carte issues — between now and Inauguration Day.


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