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FCC Launches Annual Report to Congress on Video Competition

22 Jun, 2001 By: Hive News

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has initiated its eighth annual inquiry, as required by Congress, into the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming.

Thursday’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) is designed to assist the FCC in gathering the information, data and comments for the 2001 Competition Report.

In the 2001 Competition Report, the FCC expects to update its assessment of the status of competition and report on changes in the competitive environment over the last year. The NOI seeks information that will allow the FCC to evaluate the status of competition in the video marketplace, prospects for new entrants to that market, and its effect on the cable television industry and consumers.

The NOI also solicits information regarding the extent to which consumers have choices among video programming distributors and delivery technologies. In addition, the NOI asks for information that will allow it to compare video programming offerings, prices for programming services and associated equipment, and any other services (e.g., telephony, data access) offered by providers of video programming services.

As in previous reports, the FCC seeks factual information regarding each of the video programming distributors, including the number of homes passed, the number of subscribers, the services offered, the cost for various service options, financial information on each industry, ownership information, and data on investments in plant and facility upgrades. The FCC also requests comment on industry and market structure, programming issues, and technical advances.

For the 2001 report, the FCC additionally requests information regarding the convergence of services and technologies, particularly information about the extent to which video programming distributors offer video and non-video services together. The FCC also seeks information on issues relating to the convergence of television and the Internet (e.g., streaming video, interactive television).

In previous reports, the FCC reported on broadband service providers in the context of overbuilding. In this year's NOI, the FCC considers broadband providers as a separate delivery technology. Further, this year's NOI solicits information on the number of households that rely on over-the-air reception of local television stations on one or more of their television sets.

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