Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), former Chairman of the Telecommunications subcommittee and current senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order that allows the program access rules to sunset.
This week, Rep. Markey wrote the FCC urging the Commission to extend the program access rules under the Cable Act of 1992. Two decades ago, Congress directed the FCC to adopt rules prohibiting exclusive programming arrangements by vertically integrated cable companies in an effort to promote competition.
"Although the Commission is putting in place new safeguards to substitute for the program access rules, it is unclear whether these requirements will provide consumers with the level of protection that is still needed in the video distribution marketplace. As the principal House author of the Cable Act of 1992, I believe that strong protections against anti-competitive behavior are still necessary, and I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that today's decision does not tilt the playing field against consumers and choice."