FCC Continues to Streamline Cable Notice Obligations

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The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to adopt a rule that would allow various types of generic written communications from cable operators to subscribers to be delivered electronically, if they are sent to a verified e-mail address and the cable operator complies with other consumer safeguards. This includes generic written information provided to consumers about the deletion or repositioning of broadcast
signals (Section 76.1601); general information about services offered (Section 76.1602); rate and service changes (Section 76.1603); charges for customer service changes (Section 76.1604); basic tier availability (Section 76.1618); availability of signals (Section 76.1620); equipment compatibility offer (Section 76.1621); and consumer education program on compatibility (Section 76.1622). The NPRM expands on the Commission’s previous Declaratory Ruling that allowed cable operators to provide certain notices electronically.

The NPRM seeks comment on the degree to which subscribers should have to affirmatively opt-in to receive electronic notices as opposed to allowing providers to give notice electronically to all customers that have not affirmatively opted out from the electronic notification option.   The NPRM also asks for comment on whether certain notifications, such as the equipment compatibility offer and consumer education program on compatibility should be revised or eliminated.

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