FCC Considers New Rules to Block Cable and Satellite TV Junk Fees as the CPUC’s Video Customer Service Proceeding Advances
Both Agencies Want to Hear from Local Governments
The FCC will vote on December 13, 2023 to initiate a proceeding to prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from imposing early termination fees and or requiring subscribers to pay for a complete billing cycle even when they cancel service mid-cycle. The fees that would be prohibited are often outrageous. For example, in one regulatory proceeding, a state attorney general accused Comcast of charging consumers more than $200 to cancel their service. Subscription TV services like cable and satellite continue to rank at the bottom of consumer satisfaction, year after year.
This rulemaking is part of an ongoing effort by the FCC, under the Biden Administration, to block rising prices and unpopular hidden junk fees in the services it regulates. The FCC is particularly seeking the input and expertise of local governments as it considers adopting new consumer protection rules.
Separately, the CPUC rulemaking considering new video customer service protections and CPUC adjudication of complaints (CPUC R.23-04-006) continues to advance with a pre-hearing conference set for the same date as the FCC meeting. This rulemaking was initiated earlier this year to implement SB 28. Among other topics, the CPUC is asking for input on local government’s role in enforcement.
If your community has questions about or is interested in participating in these proceedings, contact Gail Karish or Cheryl Leanza, or your BBK attorney. The filing deadline for the FCC proceeding is expected to be in early 2024, and BBK is forming a coalition of local governments to participate.
Disclaimer: BBK Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.