USA Today: Martin Considering Cable TV Competition Enforcement

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin this week told USA Today he might put into effect a little-known rule in the 1992 Cable Act that would enforce cable TV competition.

The provision could give the FCC the power to require cities to let RBOCs compete with cable TV operators.

“Several weeks ago I asked the staff to explore what the commission can do to ensure that local authorities are not unreasonably refusing to award additional competitive licenses” for video, Martin wrote to USA Today. The newspaper wrote that granting additional franchises would, in Martins words, promote competition and stimulate broadband deployment.

USA Today noted Martins comment refers to a passage in the 13-year-old Cable Act stating that local franchising authorities “may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise” for video.

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