Separate Statement of Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth

In re: Ameritech New Media, Inc.: Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

In connection with the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the possible application of our program-access rules to certain kinds of terrestrially-delivered programming, I would like to emphasize that the Commission's duty in this area -- as in all areas -- is to faithfully implement the law that Congress passed and that the President signed.

Section 628 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the statutory basis for our existing program-access scheme, by its terms governs the provision of "satellite cable programming" and "satellite broadcast programming." Although we today seek comment on the propriety of extending program-access rules to terrestrially-delivered programming in some circumstances, in the end we may well conclude that we lack the statutory authority to do so and that Congress, rather than this Commission, is the appropriate governmental entity to redress any competitive issues that may exist with respect to programming that is not transmitted (or retransmitted) by satellite.