Cable Telecommunications Act, Day 2 Part 2
The hearing focused on the effects of the Cable Act of 1984. Mr. Fritts talked about the monopolies in cable. He said that the… read more
The hearing focused on the effects of the Cable Act of 1984.
Mr. Fritts talked about the monopolies in cable. He said that the cable rates for consumers had increased 29% in the two years after deregulation and that cable is unregulated and unrestricted. He talked about his support for reregulating cable and that the legislation would be long term solution. He talked about the obstacles faced by telephone companies in providing broadcast video.
Mr. Padden disagreed with the classification of cable and argued that a better classification scheme would have labeled cable as a monopoly utility carrier rather than being a competitive medium of expression or a permutation of the two. He outlined the differences between ownership of conduit and content. He rebutted the testimony of Mr. Mooney. He said that vertically integrated multiple system operators (MSOs) disadvantaged other programmers in channel position. He talked about the “must carry” programs and the responses from the cable industry of it.
Mr. Dawson talked about misleading advertisements from the cable industry. He also talked about the need for a standard encrypting code for programming rather than a scrambling signal used by the cable industry.
Mr. Phillips said that Congress must either regulate cable or provide reasonable competition, and that the competition did not exist in the status quo. He focused on the effect of deregulation on rural customers.
Mr. Schmidt predominately rebutted Mr. Mooney, Mr. Malone, and the cable industry. He noted that a cable industry without regulation and competition will not work. He said wireless cable can be competitive, but has fought through restrictions created by the government and cable companies that have limited or eliminated its access into most markets.
Mr. Foster talked about the entry of the telephone companies into video transfer as a viable option for increasing competition in the field. He talked about a policy that would lead to the development of integrated switch broadband network that would be universally available. He also said that the ban on cross ownership should be removed.
Mr. Swanson talked about the cable problems that occur for consumers. He said that Congress should remove restraints on the video transfer abilities of telephone companies. He said 20% of households are unable to receive cable but would be able to receive the telephone system. He said that an integrated broadband network would eventually exist, but it is up to Congressional policy to determine the time frame.
The panelists answered questions from the Senators. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
People in this video
- Charles Dawson Representative Consumer Satellite Channel
- Kent Foster President GTE Telephone Operations
- Edward Fritts President and CEO National Association of Broadcasters
- Preston Padden President Association of Independent TV Stations
- B. Robert Phillips III President and CEO National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative
- Robert Schmidt President Wireless Cable Association
- Dean Swanson President Standard Telephone Company
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