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WCB Extends to September 19, 2012 NCTA Forbearance Deadline

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Released: May 30, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-844

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
Petition for Declaratory Ruling to Clarify
)
WC Docket No. 11-118
47 U.S.C. § 572 in the Context of Transactions )
Between Competitive Local Exchange Carriers )
and Cable Operators
)
)
Conditional Petition for Forbearance from
)
Section 652 of the Communications Act for
)
Transactions Between Competitive Local
)
Exchange Carriers and Cable Operators
)

ORDER

Adopted: May 30, 2012

Released: May 30, 2012

By the Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau:
1. In this Order, pursuant to section 10(c) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the
Act),1 we extend by 90 days the date by which the petition, filed by the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association (NCTA),2 shall be deemed granted in the absence of a Commission
decision that the petition fails to meet the standards for forbearance.3
2. Section 652 of the Act prohibits buyouts between cable operators and local exchange carriers
(LECs) and their affiliates, subject to certain exceptions.4 The Commission may waive this prohibition if
certain criteria are satisfied, and if the relevant local franchising authorities approve of the Commission’s
waiver.5 On June 21, 2011, NCTA filed a petition requesting, among other things, that the Commission
forbear from applying section 652(b) to mergers and acquisitions between cable operators and
competitive LECs.6 NCTA alternatively seeks forbearance from the requirement contained in section
652(d)(6)(B) that relevant local franchising authorities (LFAs) must approve of a Commission waiver of
section 652(b).


1 47 U.S.C. § 160(c).
2 Conditional Petition for Forbearance from Section 652 of the Communications Act for Transactions Between
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers and Cable Operators, WC Docket No. 11-118 (filed June 21, 2011) (NCTA
Petition for Forbearance).
3 47 U.S.C. § 160(a).
4 47 U.S.C. § 572; see also 47 C.F.R. § 76.505.
5 47 U.S.C. § 572(d).
6 NCTA Petition for Forbearance at 2. On June 21, 2011, NCTA also filed a related petition for declaratory ruling
asking the Commission to clarify that section 652 does not restrict transactions between cable operators and
competitive LECs. See Petition for Declaratory Ruling to Clarify 47 U.S.C. § 572 in the Context of Transactions
Between Competitive Local Exchange Carriers and Cable Operators, WC Docket No. 11-118, at 5 (filed June 21,
2011). NCTA seeks forbearance only if the Commission denies its petition for declaratory ruling. See NCTA
Petition for Forbearance at 6.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-844

3. Section 10(c) of the Act states that a petition for forbearance shall be deemed granted if the
Commission does not deny the petition for failure to meet the requirements for forbearance under section
10(a) within one year after the Commission receives it, unless the Commission extends the one-year
period.7 The Commission may extend the initial one-year period by an additional 90 days if the
Commission finds that an extension is necessary to meet the requirements of section 10(a).8
4. NCTA’s petition for forbearance raises significant questions regarding whether forbearance
from the application of section 652(b) or 652(d)(6)(B) meets the statutory requirements set forth in
section 10(a). The Bureau thus finds that a 90-day extension is warranted under section 10(c).
5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 10 of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 160, and authority delegated under sections 0.91 and 0.291 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91, 0.291,9 the date on which the petition seeking forbearance filed
by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association shall be deemed granted, in the absence of a
Commission denial of the petition for failure to meet the statutory standards for forbearance, is extended
to September 19, 2012.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Sharon E. Gillett
Chief
Wireline Competition Bureau


7 47 U.S.C. § 160(c).
8 Id.
9 See 47 U.S.C. § 155(c).
2

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