Nebraska Sen. Fischer: 'Vibrant competition in the video market already exists'

Speaking to a gathering of small cable operators, Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) discounted the FCC's push to reform rules governing pay-TV set-tops.

"Vibrant competition in the video market already exists," Fischer said at the Monday at the Independent Show in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, an event backed by the American Cable Association. "What [the FCC proposal] will do is pave the way for more potential problems, particularly for small providers."

Under Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC has not only recently embarked on attempts to open the pay-TV set-top business to third-party device makers, but also to reform ISP privacy regulations, as well as the business services sector. 

The ACA's small-MSO constituency has claimed that all of these potential mandates represent existential threats. And they have apparently found yet another Republican Congressional lawmaker to champion their cause. 

"I am concerned that [FCC] overregulation in the telecom sector will harm investment and it will make carriers less likely to invest in the infrastructure that is needed to bring the benefits of broadband to our consumers," Fischer added. 

As Fischer pandered to the partisans, one of Wheeler's Democratic allies on the FCC, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, attempted to walk a fine line, unwilling to throw unpopular initiatives such as "Unlock the Box" under the bus, but not fully throwing her support behind the NPRMs, either.

"Many of you provide service in places where there might not be any other option," Clyburn said. "Because of the valuable role that you play, I am both vigilant and mindful of the impact regulations may have on businesses of your size. This is why I continue to listen to your concerns."

For more:
- read this American Cable Association press release
- read this other ACA press release

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