FCC Chief Backs Down on Cable Plans

Martin's data slammed; vote on more regulation delayed until next year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 12:41 AM CST
Cable industry executive and lobbyists welcomed the hearing's outcome.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – FCC boss Kevin Martin has lost a big battle in his attempt to tighten up regulation of cable TV, reports the New York Times. After strenuous efforts by cable lobbyists leading up to a heated meeting last night, Martin agreed to push back until next year a vote on expanding the FCC's powers to regulate the industry. Haggling with opponents on the commission over a compromise had delayed the meeting twelve hours.

Martin had been trying to push the additional regulation after claiming the industry had hit legal triggers based on the percentage of households it reached—the so-called "70/70" rule—which compelled tighter scrutiny. But both Democratic and Republican panel members called his data flawed. "There was an attempt to cook the books on this report,''  one said. An exasperated Martin defended his numbers.