Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

46 Federal Communications Law Journal 7 (1993)


Since 1970, the FCC has prohibited all telephone companies from providing video programming in their local service areas. The primary rationale behind this prohibition was to promote the cable industry. Since 1984, however, the cable industry has seen tremendous growth with very little competition. New technology and market demands have now necessitated a reevaluation of the ban on cable-telco cross-ownership. The Author argues that with the changes that have occurred in the marketplace, the ban is now both an invalid prior restraint and an infringement on commercial expression and thus a violation of the First Amendment rights of telephone companies. In addition, he claims that an open and competitive cable marketplace would promote development of the United States telecommunications infrastructure.