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FCC Commissioners Target Two-Dish Ruling


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#1 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

Steve Mehs

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Posted 11 April 2002 - 04:03 AM

Two commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission criticized the Media Bureau concerning parts of its ruling on EchoStar's use of a second dish to deliver a select set of local TV channels to customers.

Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin and Michael Copps, the lone Democrat on the panel, issued a joint statement Wednesday that took issue with the Media Bureau's handling of remedies for EchoStar's two-dish offering for locals. Last week, the bureau found EchoStar violated statutory and regulatory requirements with its use of a second dish to deliver a select set of local TV channels.

Both commissioners said EchoStar’s two-dish solution "failed to provide consumers with access to local broadcast signals at a nondiscriminatory price or in a nondiscriminatory manner." They essentially agreed with the Media Bureau's findings that the two-dish offering violated the law and FCC rules.

But they criticized the bureau for devising a remedy that they said could allow EchoStar to keep the two-dish solution. "Such a remedy effectively eviscerates the finding that EchoStar’s current policy is unlawful," they said.

"We fear that the order will allow EchoStar to continue its two-dish policy - albeit with better notice - in a manner that continues to make some local broadcast signals inaccessible to consumers as a practical matter."

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