Keep FCC’s hands off cable television

USA TODAY's story on re-regulating cable falls short (“FCC retreats on cable regulation plan,” Money, Wednesday).

Since cable was deregulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1984, we have seen the number of channels available go from a few dozen to the thousands. With broadcast, satellite and streaming Internet television, the cable industry faces extreme competition and consumers are confronted with a plethora of choices.

This competitive balance should not be upset by the heavy hand of the FCC. Inevitably, FCC regulation forces out smaller competitors who cannot comply with costly and annoying rules.

In a rush to “protect” consumers from the “abuses” of cable companies, the FCC could end up destroying the competitive forces it seeks to cultivate. Chairman Kevin Martin should take his recent failure as a lesson and keep his regulatory hands off of cable.