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NCTA Free To Fight FCC’s MDU Rules

Washington -- Federal Communications Commission rules that ban cable operators from enforcing exclusive service contracts in apartment buildings were published Monday in the Federal Register, freeing the cable industry to take the FCC to court over the retroactive impact of the rules.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association announced in December that it would ask a court to largely preserve legal the status quo if the agency didn’t do so itself by Dec. 21. The FCC did not act on NCTA’s request.

Publication of the FCC’s rules in the Federal Register marked the official release of the FCC rules, which become effective on March 7, according to the published notice.

In its pending court case, NCTA said it would challenge the FCC’s decision to void existing exclusive contracts. The cable trade association is not planning to attack the rules insofar as they apply to unsigned future contracts.