Today, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and our various partners in the video access arena, including INCOMPAS (formerly Comptel), ITTA and Public Knowledge, all filed comments as leading broadband associations and consumer advocates, calling for changes in the broken video marketplace.
Video has long been a driving force behind competition in the broadband arena, and I would argue that the influence of video and OTT options is driving this even further. Our working coalition, called the Networks for Competition and Choice, filed comments today with the FCC on the good faith principles on which retransmission consent agreements are negotiated. In our group filing, we encouraged the FCC to adopt retransmission consent reform as a way to mitigate consumer harm caused by increased prices, blackouts and a certain lack of competitive retail video options.
Our comments filed in this proceeding show that broadcasters will fight any attempt to level the negotiating playing field to ensure that all consumers have access to the content they want at prices they can afford. NTCA is hopeful that the FCC will carefully consider the record in this proceeding and ensure that the good faith negotiating standard protects rural consumers and the small multichannel video programming distributors that serve them.
Many powerful economic powers at play in Washington, D.C., and that ensures that there will be a lot of noise and drama ahead.