F.C.C. Planning Rules to Open Cable Market

New York Times – By STEPHEN LABATON Published: November 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 — The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to impose significant new regulations to open the cable television market to independent programmers and rival video services after determining that cable companies have become too dominant in the industry, senior commission officials said. The finding, under a law that gives the commission expanded powers over the cable television industry if it becomes too big, is expected to be announced this month. It is a major departure for the agency and the industry, which was deregulated by an act of Congress in 1996.

Officials say the finding could lead to more diverse programs; consumer groups say it could also lead to lower rates.

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