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FCC OKs Emailed Annual Cable Sub Notices

The FCC has voted to allow cable operators to save a few more trees.

That came in a notice from the FCC Monday of an item deleted from its June 22 open meeting agenda.

The notice said the FCC had already voted to grant the declaratory ruling sought by cable operators that annual written notices to subs could be replaced with emails.

There is certain information cable operators are required to give subs at least once a year, including the types of products and services they offer, the price for each, and installation and service maintenance policies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called granting that request "consistent with our work to streamline outdated and unnecessary rules."

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association and the American Cable Association had sought "a ruling that electronic dissemination by email to subscribers for whom a cable operator has a confirmed email address, by the provision of appropriately-noticed links to websites, or by other electronic measures reasonably calculated to reach individual customers, satisfies the requirement if the information is also available in print upon customer request."

Electronic will be the default option for the notices, though each electronic notice must provide a phone number for subs who want to opt-in to paper notifications.

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.