Boredom at 151 kbit/s

If I get a nastygram from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) because I exceeded its invisible cap, I'm going to throw the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) right under the bus.

That's because I tuned in Tuesday to cover the agency's "open agenda meeting," which, among other things, was to include an important vote that could impose dual must-carry requirements on U.S. cable operators following the February 2009 digital transition. (See Must-Carry Madness and Cable's All-Upset Over All-Digital.)

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. As of 6:33 p.m. ET Tuesday, the meeting had yet to get underway, delayed because officials were negotiating throughout the day, reportedly mulling compromises and exemption requests from cable lobbying arms such as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and American Cable Association (ACA) .

Those of us who tuned in for the Web-delivered video feed (free to the first 200 to link in, or $65 for guaranteed access) saw a whole bunch of this Tuesday, accompanied by the FCC's jazzy hold music:

That's about nine hours of video running at 151 kbit/s. Good thing the meeting isn't being streamed in high-def.

Update: Following frequent checks of my PC screen, I noticed that the meeting had gotten underway by 8:30 p.m. ET. So they are doing this thing today, after all. Stay tuned. We'll have the results of the meeting up shortly.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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