NCTA CEO/President Michael Powell is lauding yesterday’s FCC decision regarding in-region telco-cable cross-ownership restrictions, saying, “We commend the commission for removing outdated obstacles that have historically deterred pro-competitive transactions between cable operators and competitive local phone companies. The cable industry provides millions of American businesses and consumers with competitive digital voice services and today’s decision will help ensure that more Americans can benefit from the savings and convenience that cable offers.” Part of the FCC’s limited forbearance decision notes, “Mergers between cable operators and competitive LECs, both of which usually are non-dominant providers of telecommunications services, potentially serve many pro-competitive goals and appear consistent with the purpose and history of section 652.  Streamlining the regulatory approval process for such transactions—without eliminating the important safeguards of the Commission’s review of such mergers—can enhance facilities-based competition and spur technological innovation and investment that will benefit consumers.” Added American Cable Association President/CEO Matthew M. Polka, "Section 652 acted to inhibit transactions between cable operators and CLECs – transactions which have the potential to bring substantial benefits to consumers and further the public interest, including in smaller markets served by smaller providers."

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