Sources: McCaskill Withdrawing Cable Bill Amendment

According to multiple sources, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is expected to withdraw her amendment to a Senate Commerce Committee Satellite reauthorization bill (STAVRA) that would have put cable operators feet to the fire on customer service.  

The amendment, which was unveiled Tuesday (Sept. 16), would have:

1. Directed the FCC to update customer service guidelines for cable operators. 
2. Make clear the FCC has the authority to enforce those guidelines if the local franchising authority (LFA) doesn't.
3. Directed the FCC to establish customer service guidelines since they are not subject to LFA's or state of local jurisdictions.
4. Would have granted the FCC the authority to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices, similar to the Federal Trade Commission's authority.   

According to one source, McCaskill has agreed not to offer the amendment or ask for a vote, likely in exchange for assurances from the committee that it will look more closely at the issue. She may also announce other action she is taking in the cable customer service, billing arena. 

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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.