Late Tuesday night—and after a 12-hour delay marked by contentious debate among the FCC’s commissioners—the agency adopted its thirteenth annual report to Congress on the state of competition in the U.S. multichannel video industry without invoking the 70/70 mandate sought by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Enacted by Congress more than two decades ago, the 70/70 rule allows the FCC to expand its authority over the cable industry once cable passes 70% of U.S. homes and 70% of those households subscribe to cable. Earlier this month, Martin proclaimed that both parts of the 70% threshold had been fulfilled, as statistics provided to the FCC by an outside data collection firm tallied the subscription rate at just over 71%. Although Martin had hoped to use that data to introduce a raft of new cable industry regulations in conjunction with the release of the FCC’s annual video competition report, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and other cable industry players contested the accuracy of that data, as they noted that other sources—including the FCC’s 2006 annual cable report—had tallied national subscribership in the range of 56% to 67%. Within the FCC, both of Martin’s Republican colleagues, Commissioners Deborah Tate and Robert McDowell, also disputed the outside data used by Martin, as they suggested that numbers compiled by the FCC’s staff and showing a much lower subscription rate were more reliable. In the end, and after failing to win the support of both FCC Democrats for the 70/70 plan, Martin tabled the proposal in favor of a compromise that requires the nation’s cable operators within 60 days to provide complete subscribership data and other information directly to the FCC that will enable the agency to determine whether the requirements of the 70/70 test have been met. Voicing relief, the NCTA declared that the FCC’s decision to place a 70/70 finding on hold “sends an important message that consumers are best served by marketplace forces, not government micromanagement.”