Politicians decry FCC's Martin

24 Republicans politicians plan to write to FCC chair Kevin Martin, criticising him for a “misguided and harmful” proposal that would give the FCC more authority to regulate the cable industry. They call the Martin proposal “inappropriate at best and contradicts the statute at worst,” according to the letter, which was signed by all but two of 26 Republicans on the House Commerce Committee. They are asking for more information about all cable regulation under consideration at the FCC and more information about why Martin believes the cable industry has grown large enough to trigger new regulations.

“It is a concern that he may be moving away from the light-touch regulation to a much greater role for regulation,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

The letter is the latest salvo in the war between the cable industry, which has worked at achieving broad bipartisan support in Congress, and Martin, who has suggested a variety of proposals over the past two years to rein in cable companies, including his suggestion that cable operators offer channels on an a-la-carte basis.

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