The FCC yesterday refused to accept data from its Republican Chairman Kevin Martin that would have potentially subjected the cable industry to a host of new government regulation. The Commission rejected Chairman Martins findings on the so-called 70-70 rule.
Under that provision, the agency may adopt rules necessary to promote “diversity of information sources” once the commission concludes that cable television is available to at least 70 percent of American households, and at least 70 percent of those households actually subscribe to a cable service.
Martin took heavy political fire from Congress, the cable industry, and his fellow commissioners, both Democratic and Republican. In the end Martin was unable to provide data that showed that the necessary benchmarks under 70/70 had been reached. The Commission did vote for some small regulatory changes, including more stringent reporting requirements for the industry, but the cable industry rolled the FCC Chairman in this political showdown. Read the washington Post story at this link.