Rockefeller on FCC Action to Sunset Program Access Rules

October 5, 2012

SCom: CommunicationsWASHINGTON, D.C. — Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) replaced its program access rules, which prohibit cable operators that own programming from denying other video distributors access to that programming, with a new case-by-case complaint process.

“I am reviewing the FCC’s action today very carefully.  As recent hearings in the Commerce Committee have demonstrated, consumers still face ever-escalating rates and little power to address them. The program access rules were an integral part of Congress’s attempt to promote competition and consumer choice in the 1992 Cable Act.  I appreciate that the FCC has put into place a process by which individual complaints can be brought against cable companies that lock up their programming.  But if this new process does not deter anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers, Congress will need to consider whether it should restore appropriate safeguards.”