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Multichannel Video Programming Distributor or “MVPD”

MVPD is an important term in the FCC’s regulatory regime governing cable television. Section 602(13) defines MVPD as “a person such as, but not limited to, a cable operator, a multichannel multipoint distribution service, a direct broadcast satellite service, or a television receive-only satellite program distributor, who makes available for purchase, by subscribers or customers, multiple channels of video programming.” Thus, MVPDs include not only traditional cable operators (operating cable systems using public rights-of-way) but direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) providers (including PCOs), and wireline video providers such as Verizon FiOS as well as AT&T U-verse and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) using Internet protocol television IPTV. MVPDs have certain legal rights and responsibilities under Federal statutes and FCC regulations. In 2012, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Notice of Inquiry requesting comments on the implications of expanding the term “MVPD” to include online video distributors (“OVDs”) that currently operate outside the regulatory framework governing video programming distribution by cable, satellite and telephone companies.


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In wake of the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry called Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments, competitive access to multi-tenant properties is again a burning public policy issue. We intend to summarize the controversy in a series of blog entries in the coming weeks.

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