FCC Streamlines Its Leased Access Rules

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The FCC has adopted a Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing its leased access rules. These rules require cable operators to set aside channel capacity for commercial use by unaffiliated video programmers. Specifically, the Commission’s latest action: (1) vacates its 2008 Leased Access Order, which never went into effect due to a judicial stay and the Office of Management and Budget’s disapproval of the associated information collection requirements; (2) streamlines the Commission’s existing leased access rules, for example, by eliminating the requirement that cable operators make leased access available on a part-time basis; (3) modifies the Commission’s rules to require cable operators, regardless of system size, to respond only to bona fide requests from prospective leased access programmers; and (4) seeks comment on a proposal to simplify the leased access rate formula so that rates will be specific to the tier on which the programming is carried. This is the thirteenth report adopted by the Commission as part of its Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative.

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