FCC fines cablecos

21 Jan 2009

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined nine cable operators for failing to provide information for an investigation into the transfer from analogue to digital broadcasts. In a statement made on his last full day in office, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said that operators had shown ‘contempt’ for the commission’s inquiry. ‘The cable operators’ refusal to provide the commission full information has delayed our investigation and inhibited our ability to examine allegations,’ he told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Cablecos Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks, Harron Communications, Midcontinent Communications and Suddenlink Communications are facing fines ranging from USD7,500 to USD25,000.

Separately, Martin has warned the newly installed FCC chairman Julius Genachowski against imposing excessive regulation in communications markets. ‘If you come in with too much of an interventionist approach, you could … deter people from investing in the infrastructure,’ he said in an interview with The Financial Times.