Editorial: ‘E’ Trumps Snail

Cable operators have asked the FCC to save some trees, which will save them money in mailing costs. The American Cable Association and National Cable & Telecommunications Association last week asked the agency’s Media Bureau to declare that an e-mail to subs they have a working e-mail address for qualifies as notification, which could replace “hundreds of millions of pages of paper” annually.

The FCC requires customer notifications at the time of a service’s purchase and any other time on request. Those include notices of how much subs pay in rental fees for set-tops, or prices and programming tier options. Most ops still provide a snail-mail hard copy of such info that “few subscribers read and virtually none retain,” they told the bureau.

This FCC is all about replacing the paper snail with the broadband cheetah, a point cable ops made when pointing out the commission’s move earlier this year to replace paper public TV station and cable files with an online database.

Seems like a no-brainer. But if the FCC needs any additional brainpower, count us among those supporting the cable effort.