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The cable business needs to convince the Federal Communications Commission about the "breadth and depth" of satellite TV competition, one of the industry's top leaders said Wednesday.

Daniel Brenner, senior vice president for law and regulatory policy at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, told attendees at the Mid-America Cable Show in Kansas City that the FCC should take another look at its description of cable as the "dominant" video provider, given that 22 percent of market share in the multichannel business was controlled by satellite in 2001. That market share has grown to 23 percent this year, he said.

"The overwhelming majority of cable subscribers have two satellite alternatives - plus overbuilders in some markets," Brenner said. "This is a clash of competitors, not a case of dominance."

Brenner added, "This competition should convince the FCC this year to recognize the essentially competitive environment in the video business. And it should lead the commission to reform its rate regulation rules to reflect the very effective competition arising from DBS."

The NCTA exec said the FCC should assume that DBS provides effective competition on basic service, and require those who believe otherwise to carry the burden of making their case.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)

This is interesting.

Mr. Brenner now wants his cable industry colleagues to view DBS as "effective competition on basic service", not as a clarion call to improve service or moderate rates, but to lay the groundwork for petitioning the FCC to 'reform' rate regulation.

Of course, we all know what that means.

As virtual monopolies, cablecos have enjoyed both the protection of their franchises and 'charge what you want' light-handed regulation by the FCC (For Cable Companies).

Now they want to summon the FCC Mothership down for a chat about cutting the few remaining apron-strings of "regulation" because they now have effective competition?

Give me a break!
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