Category Archives: FCC

FCC Report Reveals Broadband Growth and Development

The FCC today released their annual “Measuring Broadband America” report which tests consumer broadband performance in the U.S.  The report’s findings underscore that the U.S. enjoys a healthy, growing, and competitive broadband marketplace. The good news from a cable perspective is that providers are delivering speeds that consistently meet or exceed advertised numbers.  That isn’t […]

FCC Summit on Closing the Digital Divide

The FCC held a summit yesterday on broadband adoption, lessons learned over the past few years and best practices that can continue helping to close the digital divide among communities that remain unconnected.  In his keynote remarks, Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Communications and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce noted the […]

Let’s Avoid Wrong Turns on Universal Service

NCTA has been a strong supporter of the major universal service reforms adopted by the FCC in November 2011.  Reforming the universal service regime was an incredibly complex and difficult challenge and the Commission deserves great credit for establishing a long-term path to a modern program that supports broadband only where necessary and that relies […]

Professor Steven Wildman Named FCC Chief Economist

Professor Steven Wildman, Michigan State University Professor of Information Studies, has been named as the FCC’s newest Chief Economist. In December Wildman spoke at NCTA Connects, a new event series at NCTA which hosts national thought leaders discussing issues that are impacting the media and communications industries. Below is a clip from Wildman’s presentation on usage based pricing: […]

Commercials quieted by CALM

There is much talk today about a new law called the CALM Act – or the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. There are a few media stories about it, including the Los Angeles Times, NPR and CNN, and a press rerelease from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).  Below are a few answers to questions you may have […]

Michael Powell on CNBC’s Squawk Box

This morning, NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell was on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the fiscal cliff, investments by the communications industry and the regulatory environment after the election.

Progress on Basic Tier Encryption

In previous posts, we’ve highlighted why the FCC should change its rules and enable cable operators to encrypt the basic service tier (BST) — the tier that includes local broadcast stations and a few other channels. It’s worth remembering how we got here.  When the FCC acted two decades ago to create the current rule […]

More Evidence of A Changing Video Marketplace

With last week’s release of the 14th Video Competition Report by the FCC, there is no better time for Congress to be conducting hearings about the vibrant video marketplace and to examine whether rules that were established in 1992 still make sense today. During Tuesday’s Senate Commerce hearing – The Cable Act at 20 – we expect to hear much about how the consumer marketplace has bypassed yesterday’s regulatory era.

The Commission’s 14th Report covers the four years from 2007 through 2010, a period that resulted in huge shifts in the video marketplace. Among other things, the 14th Report shows that:

Video competition continued to grow:

  • Cable’s share of the video marketplace fell from 65 percent of subscribers in 2006 to 60 percent in 2010.
  • DirecTV and Dish Network continued their climb, becoming the second and third largest MVPDs with over 19 million and 14 million customers, respectively. The combined share of the two DBS companies equaled 34 percent of subscribers in 2010 (up from 29 percent in 2006).
  • Telco providers served 6.9 million video subscribers, increasing their availability from approximately 4.7 percent of U.S. households in 2006 to 33 percent of U.S. homes in 2010.
  • The FCC found that by the end of 2010 “almost 43 million homes have access to four MVPDs. This [large telco] entry represents a significant increase in competition in the market for the delivery of video programming.”

MVPDs competed both on price and non-price:

  • “Over time, MVPDs have altered their pricing in response to changes in the competitive landscape”, with some offering low introductory or promotional prices as well as “experimenting with both higher-priced and lower-priced video packages.”
  • MVPDs have also adopted various competitive strategies that include “transition to digital service, product differentiation, delivery of video to diverse geographic locations, delivery of video to a variety of in-home or mobile devices, and implementation of marketing tactics.”

And those conclusions came before the most obvious acknowledgement of online video and the competition and options which online services offer. The 14th Report also mentioned “consumers’ rising demands for access to video programming anywhere and anytime,” an acknowledgement that TV Everywhere services are a response to customer demands.

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FCC: Cable Broadband Delivers Outstanding Performance

“[C]able [broadband] technology has a daily 24-hour average speed of slightly over 100 percent of advertised rates . . . .” While the above statement may sound like an ad for cable broadband services, it actually comes from the FCC’s most recent report analyzing performance of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISP) in America.  Based […]

It’s Time to Encrypt the Basic Tier

In the past few weeks, this blog has addressed the issue of encryption of cable’s basic programming tier. We’ve pointed out that such encryption would reduce the need for technicians to visit customers’ homes for installations and disconnections. We’ve argued that deploying physical filters at consumers’ homes to control authorization is a very inefficient and […]