FCC Adjusts Regulated Cable Rates

Rate-regulated cable services can boost their non-external cost base for basic rates by 1.42%.

That is the latest inflation adjustment announced by the FCC for those filing their rate forms, based on changes from July 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2016.

The increase for April-June was 2.3%.

Local franchise authorities can, but are not required to, regulate basic rates where there is a lack of effective competition.

The price (of the non-external cost portion of rates) is adjusted quarterly based on changes in the GNP price index published by the State Department's Bureau of Economic analysis. MVPDs are allowed to pass though external costs, like program price increases, but those can be reviewed by the local franchise authority (LFA), which is the one doing the rate regulating rather than the FCC.

It will be the 85th such quarterly adjustment since the FCC started releasing them.

The FCC last year changed its standard for the lack of effective competition finding that triggers rate regs to a presumption that there is effective competition, rather than that there is not, and thus putting the onus on LFA's to prove that there is not and justify continued basic rate regs.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.