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September 13, 2001


In commencing this proceeding today, the Commission takes steps to fulfill statutory and judicial mandates. Pursuant to the 1992 Cable Act, the Commission established horizontal and vertical ownership rules for cable systems. In a decision this year, however, the D.C. Circuit ordered the Commission to revisit these rules, and to build a strong record upon which to base such changes.

Given the directive of the D.C. Circuit, it is critical that in the proceeding commenced today, we solicit information from all stakeholders to aid us in building a record that will clearly and strongly support our conclusions. Whatever one’s position on the outcome of this proceeding, detailed input is important to the Commission’s collection of the data necessary to make informed decisions about these rules. The more information we have from stakeholders, the better we will be able to base our decisions not on our impressions of these industries and how they operate, but on the data compiled through proceedings such as this.

I look forward to reviewing the information compiled in response to this NPRM. I intend to review the record thoroughly and without prejudgment. If I am to support any changes to these rules – or any other rule – I expect to know with as much precision as possible how those proposed changes serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.