Cable Tv Franchise Agreement
78. Contrary to some commentators` claims, we also conclude that it would be contrary to the objectives of Congress to allow aLAG network operators to deal with incumbent cable operators who are not ordinary network operators, as well as historic cable companies and newcomers who are common operators in the provision of information services, including broadband internet access services. As we found in the second NFDM, incumbent and new cable operator providers (whether common or not) often compete in the same markets and offer consumers virtually identical services. Thus, stricter regulation of the latter group of suppliers by the LfA, z.B. by submitting franchise requirements and royalties for the provision of unclosed services, could place it on a start-print page 44741.  For example, a report submitted by the NCTA states that two fixed broadband network providers can develop their networks in different ways, one using wireless backhauls and the other using fixed backhaul, but „if one has entries subject to [royalties] and the other does not, the difference . . . .
Treatment can distort competition between the two, even if the services provided . . . . for the consumer, there is no distinction. The distortion of competition resulting from „obstruction of a subset of competitors“ in turn reduces the incentives of these competitors to invest in cable network upgrades for the provision of cable and non-wired services, This could frustrate the objectives of the 1996 Act to promote competition among communications providers and to ensure lower prices and better services for consumers.  Such rules further impede the Commission`s development of a „coherent legal framework for all broadband platforms,“ which is „the cornerstone of federal broadband policy.“  71. This interpretation is reinforced both by the wording of Section 621 (b) (3) of the Act and by its legislative history (with respect to the provision of telecommunications services by cable operators), which Congress added to Title VI by the Telecommunications Act 1996. The fact that Section 621 (b) (3) is intended to protect incumbent cable operators from the Title VI LFA regime when they provide certain unclosed services, that is, telecommunications services, further undermines the AFL`s assertion that the common exception in paragraph 602, paragraph 7, point C, should only protect the provision of services not wired by new entrants from the AFL regime. 88. Congress was well aware that „wired systems“ were used for a large number of cable and non-wired services.
It follows that, if it wished, Congress could have given states, municipalities and franchising authorities considerable leeway in taxation or other regulatory restrictions on the provision of unclosed services to a cable system in exchange for the cable operator who has access to priority rights. But it turns out that the balance of Title VI clearly shows that Congress has strongly described the authority of state or local governments to regulate the conditions of this exchange. In this document, we make it clear that states, municipalities and franchising authorities are not allowed to impose fees or restrictions on cable operators for the provision of unclosed services related to access to these priority rights, unless expressly authorized by law.