Press Release

John Bergmayer to Testify Before House Energy & Commerce Committee On STELAR Reauthorization

June 3, 2019 , ,

Public Knowledge Senior Counsel John Bergmayer will testify before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Tuesday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “STELAR Review: Protecting Consumers in an Evolving Media Marketplace” will urge Congress to make STELAR permanent in order to enable rural satellite providers to continue serving their communities. The testimony will also argue that STELAR reform should be a component of new regulatory reform for the video marketplace. STELAR, which enables rural satellite viewers to receive a full lineup of programming, is set to expire unless Congress takes action.

The following may be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Congress should make STELAR permanent. Rural satellite viewers shouldn't be held hostage to inter-industry regulatory fights, and Congress has enough on its plate without this repeated, self-imposed deadline.

“At the same time, the video marketplace is in dire need of sweeping regulatory reform, and STELAR reform can be part of this. Our testimony details some ideas of what this could look like. For example, Congress could phase out the overly complex retransmission consent system entirely and the industry could move to a purely copyright-based approach, which would better fit the multi-platform, online video future. We also support efforts to control cable and satellite bill inflation in the short term, such as giving real teeth to statutory ‘good faith’ negotiation requirements.”

You may view the testimony here.