Cable's Fuzzy Image

Congress and the FCC move toward reregulating an industry

It wired most of the U.S. in little more than a decade and vastly increased the number of TV channels available to the average home. It enticed viewers with movie services like HBO and Showtime, brought in superstations from distant cities and popularized MTV. But the industry responsible for these feats is hearing few huzzahs these days. More and more people, it seems, are griping about cable.

Consumers in some areas are complaining about rising rates, shoddy service and long afternoons of waiting for the cable repairman to show up. Broadcasters are arguing that cable enjoys an unfair advantage in the...

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