The Federal Communications Commission will address three items of particular interest to the industry at its next open meeting set for Wednesday, April 21, in Washington, D.C.
The top three agenda items include:
- A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on best approaches to assure the commercial availability of smart video devices and other equipment used to access the services of multi-channel video programming distributors.
- A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes changes to the CableCARD rules for set-top boxes used with cable services, to improve the operation of that framework pending the development of a successor framework.
- A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on the present state of survivability in broadband networks and potential measures to reduce vulnerability to network failures.
In separate FCC news, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is urging the commission to extend the deadline for the public comment on Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBC Universal.
The congresswoman sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting commissioners reconsider the Media Bureau’s recent denial of a request to extend the filing period by 45 days.
“The FCC must allow the public more time to present information, make arguments and raise questions about the takeover by Comcast — the nation’s biggest cable and broadband Internet company — of NBC Universal, which owns broadcast and cable networks, TV stations and programs, and movie studios,” she wrote. “A merger of this magnitude would have an enormous impact on virtually every American, and I want to make sure individuals and public interest groups have a chance to be heard.”
Rep. Waters also noted that only “five companies own America’s major broadcast networks and 90 percent of the top 50 cable networks; produce three-quarters of all prime-time programming; and control 70 percent of the prime-time television market share. These same companies also own the nation’s most popular newspapers and 85 percent of the top 20 Internet news sites.”