The American Cable Association (ACA) has now submitted a formal request to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking the commission to bring an end to industry requirements associated with Form 325 surveys. Dubbing the requirement as wasteful and counterproductive, the ACA says that the form is completely pointless in the modern age, having outlived its intended purpose. For those that may not be aware, the rules pertaining to Form 325 were initially put in place 52 years ago, in 1965, in a period during which the FCC was trying to determine whether or not to bring the then-new cable TV industry under its regulatory jurisdiction. The form asks all cable TV providers, including many that could be called small businesses, about information pertaining to the company name, address, capacity, frequencies used, channel usage, and subscriber numbers. The ACA says the majority of its arguably already embattled members are actually unnecessarily burdened by the now useless form.
Aside from the fact that the form doesn't seem to serve its intended purpose any longer, the cable association says that more than half of its roughly 750 members service fewer than 1,000 subscribers. Only around 20 of the operators service more than 20,000 members and are required by the rules to submit Form 325 on an annual basis, while the majority of its members service less than 5,000 subscribers. Although only the top operators are required by law to submit the form yearly, others must do so upon request by the FCC. The ACA points out that some of its members have been asked to conform to the requirement on a yearly basis, regardless. The remainder of the American Cable Association's formal request – included in the source link below – highlights the various ways the rules surrounding the form have outlived their usefulness. To be clear, the association does seem to have a point. The sole purpose of the continued use of the form, it points out, seems to be to allow the FCC to stay up on trends with that portion of the tech industry. It says that it appreciates that desire but that it goes beyond the scope of what is required and that it isn't sustainable.
Whether or not the FCC ultimately chooses to accept the ACA's request remains to be seen. While the current head of the commission has touted a "light touch" approach to regulations, the commission has not been without controversy over the past several months. That makes it difficult to determine which direction the agency might take in response to the ACA.