Cable TV: The Re-Regulation, Re-Wiring, and Re-Education of America

By Nelson, Milo | Computers in Libraries, December 1992 | Go to article overview

Cable TV: The Re-Regulation, Re-Wiring, and Re-Education of America


Nelson, Milo, Computers in Libraries


After four years of room and board at the White House and a winning streak of thirty-five successful vetoes, it is interesting that the congressional override of President Bush's thirty-sixth veto concerned the regulation of cable television companies. This had something to do, naturally, with the opening of poll booths in November and something to do with the fact that the 102nd Congress was within a few hours of adjournment. But it also had something to do with the simple non-partisan popularity of the measure to authorize regulation of minimum cable service and seek to stimulate competition. The Senate voted 74 to 25 and the House 308 to 114 in support of the bill to restore regulation. In the Senate, twenty-four Republicans joined fifty Democrats in voting to override the presidential veto, a margin too large to ascribe to political waywardness.

Standing Square

Bush's arguments on the dangers of regulation had little impact on the legislators, causing speculation that he either disliked regulation simply on principle, or that he had small grasp of the implications of the bill. Bush said that the legislation would do little to increase competition in the cable television industry, would cost American jobs, and would discourage investment in telecommunications. He also objected to a provision in the bill that would allow television broadcasters to demand royalties from cable companies for carrying their programs.

Senator Albert Gore (D-TN), a principal author of the bill, said: "Cable consumers are getting ripped off and George Bush is giving the cable monopolies permission to do it." He accused the President of "standing square with the big cable operators, the monopolies that have been raising rates and squeezing out competition."

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) said that the cable companies were engaging in "highway robbery." In the past, he said, "the cable industry has relentlessly raised rates on the American consumer, year after year." Without protective regulation, this will only continue.

Defenders of the bill argued that costs to consumers would rise if the measure were not passed, and critics of the bill declared that its enactment would result in greater costs to users. In addition to providing regulation of rates and seeking to encourage competition, the bill also enables over-theair broadcasters to seek payment from cable companies that carry their broadcasts. The movie industry vigorously opposed the bill because there was no provision for it to share in these revenues.

Let's Not Micromanage

In September on NBC's "Meet the Press," David Broder attempted to extract some insight on the pending legislation from Vice President Dan Quayle. Broder asked Quayle a few questions help clarify the matter.

Q: Explain in simple terms why the cable companies should not be regulated.

A: O.K. Simple terms, here's the choice. Here's the choice in simple terms. Are you going to try to constrain the price increase through regulation or through genuine competition? Our preference is to do it through genuine competition.

Q: But there isn't genuine competition.

A: That's right. Because you have -- but the cities that grant these things can certainly be more competitive and have more openness if they're --

Q: So your suggestion is that they go out and have two or three different companies wire these communities to get competition?

A: I'm not going to get into the micromanagement of the cable industry.

So much for the insight of the Vice President of the United States and, I would think, so much for his much touted Council on Competitiveness.

The product of over three years of political debate, the bill actually provides for only modest rate regulation along with several provisions designed to foster greater competition in the industry. The FCC is empowered to set guidelines that would "approximate" prices levied in the few markets where cable companies actually compete with one another. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cable TV: The Re-Regulation, Re-Wiring, and Re-Education of America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.