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Rereg coin for FCC in the works

The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed late Tuesday to provide $ 11.5 million in emergency funding to help the Federal Communications Commission administer the 1992 Cable Act.

Before the FCC can get its hands on the coin, however, the legislation must clear both the full Senate and a House-Senate conference committee.

It’s unclear whether attempts will be made to derail the funding measure.

Enactment of the spending provision is critical to the cash-starved FCC. On Tuesday, interim FCC chairman James Quello said the agency is considering postponing implementation of the cable bill until Oct. 1 unless more money is forwarded from Congress.

Congress placed the burden of enforcing the massive rereg bill on the FCC. Assuming the funding is provided, the FCC will hire a horde of new employees to oversee such issues as rate regulation of cablers.

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