Weeks after NCTA chief Kyle McSlarrow blasted the FCC’s relaxation of franchise rules because the changes didn’t apply to all video providers (Cfax, 12/21), FCC chmn Kevin Martin offered his take on where the agency and industry diverge. "I think most significantly the cable industry didn’t like that we were making changes to make it easier for people to offer cable services," Martin said during a Citigroup investor conference Wed. "I understand from the cable industry perspective why… but from a consumer, policy perspective, it’s the right thing." The chmn, speaking hours before his CES presentation Wed, said there either has to be rate regulation or competition. Cable argues that competition already exists and that the franchise process is not unduly burdensome. Its chief complaint with the new FCC rules, which require LFAs to act on video applications from competitors with access to local rights-of-way (ie., most telcos) within 90 days, is that the regulations don’t apply to everyone.

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