In comments filed at the agency Tuesday, the American Cable Association (ACA) called on the Federal Communications Commission to reform its regulatory-fee system by requiring direct broadcast satellite providers (DBS) to pay their fair share and by scaling the fee burden based on an entity’s ability to pay, much like the graduated federal income tax, the group says. Adds ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka, "Fairness also means adoption of an ability-to-pay principle because larger entities have a greater ability to bear these regulatory costs than smaller ones." ACA noted that DBS providers today pay no regulatory fees to cover Media Bureau activities governing MVPD services, even though the law requires that the benefits provided by the Bureau’s activities be taken into account in the FCC’s fee assessments. "Although cable operators pay millions of dollars to fund the FCC, the two DBS operators are the second and third largest MVPDs in the country, with more that 33 million customers combined, and pay no fees to cover the cost of Media Bureau oversight," Polka says. "The FCC’s fee reforms should recognize and correct this fundamental problem, which is likely having market-distorting effects." The group also called on the FCC to retain the per-subscriber fee assessment methodology in lieu of a revenue-based approach, which ACA said “is complicated and burdensome with no clear offsetting benefits.”

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WICT Chapter Honors

It’s a three-way tie for WICT Chapter of the Year, with WICT Europe, Greater Philadelphia and Southeast Chapters all earning the most possible points and rights to the title. WICT Southeast’s

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