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FCC Sets June 21 Vote on Multicast Requirement

Jun 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered a June 21 vote on whether to order cable companies to carry broadcasters’ multicast transmissions.

Cable companies are currently required to carry a broadcaster’s primary signal. But as broadcasters make the transition to digital, compression technology will allow their signal to include several new original channels. Multiple system operators such as Comcast have long opposed any mandate to carry additional broadcast channels, saying it will crowd their bandwidth and may dilute the value of existing carriage contracts.

The upcoming vote will mark the third time the agency has considered a multicast mandate. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has made multicast requirements one of his priorities. Cable companies will likely file suit to halt any new mandate.