Thune Statement on FCC’s Effective Competition Vote

FCC action wisely reduces regulations that do not benefit American households

June 4, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) adoption of the “Effective Competition Order” that acknowledges a competitive marketplace for pay-TV and that consumers benefit more from competition than government price regulation.

“A bipartisan majority at the FCC has recognized the competitive reality in today’s pay-TV market and appropriately adjusted the agency’s regulatory assumptions. In doing so, the commission responsibly acted within its authority and followed the direction it received from Congress in the STELAR Act to streamline its effective competition process. This action reduces inappropriate government price regulation that is bad for consumers and competition. FCC data shows that cable prices regulated by the government are actually higher than those regulated by market competition.” 

According to the FCC’s latest Cable Price Report, the average price of basic monthly service in “non-competitive” communities (those in which prices may be regulated) is $23.01 while basic service in communities found to have “effective competition” is $22.51. Section 111 of the STELA Reauthorization (STELAR) Act of 2014, which was enacted last December, required the FCC to streamline its process for the filing of effective competition petitions by certain cable operators.  Because the Effective Competition Order eases regulatory burdens on all cable providers, it appropriately achieves congressional intent.