FCC Modernizes Cable Rate Regulations; Seeks Comment on Proposed Rules

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The FCC has released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order addressing cable rate regulations. The Report and Order eliminates or revises rules concerning rate regulation for cable programming service tiers that have become obsolete or unnecessary due to changes in the industry. Specifically, the Commission is: (1) modifying Section 76.923(i) of its rules, without notice and comment, because the changes merely codify an existing uncodified rule; and (2) eliminating the hard copies of Forms 328 and 329 located at the end of Section 76.985 of its rules. The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on updating the existing cable rate regulation rules, including proposals to: (1) limit equipment rate regulation; (2) exempt small cable systems owned by small cable companies from rate regulation; (3) clarify that cable services provided to commercial establishments (e.g., office buildings, shopping malls) are not subject to rate regulation. Comments are due 30 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 60 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

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