Association asks commission for dual must-carry exemption

March 6, 2008

The American Cable Association (ACA) filed a petition with the FCC on March 3, asking the commission to exempt small cable systems from dual-carriage rules that take effect Feb. 17, 2009.

According to the association, the rules will strain the system capacity and budget of many of its members. While the FCC has said it would allow smaller cable operators to apply for waivers from the rule, the association said that process is problematic.

"The FCC must-carry waiver process is costly and burdensome for small cable operators and needs to be replaced with outright exemptions," said ACA president and CEO Matthew Polka.

The ACA filing requests an exemption from the obligation to provide must-carry signals in digital format for systems serving 5000 or fewer subscribers or systems with less than 552MHz of capacity.

The ACA cited significant financial and capacity burdens that the dual-carriage requirement would place on systems serving small and rural markets as its reasons for the requests.

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