FCC nixes cable coin request

The FCC has denied a request from consumer groups that would have allowed cable TV customers to immediately begin deducting 15% from their monthly bills.

“Granting this petition would have promoted chaos for the industry and consumers,” said interim FCC chairman James Quello in a statement.

“The petition appeared to be more of an effort to grab headlines and to engage in self-aggrandizement that a serious plan for (cable) rate regulation.”

The Consumer Federation of America and several other liberal public interest groups on July 21 asked the FCC to permit cable customers to begin knocking off 15% of their monthly bill, excluding the price for unregulated pay channels such as HBO and pay-per-view.

CFA based its request on the FCC April pledge to roll back basic and expanded basic tier cable rates as much as 15% nationwide. Most cable rebates are not likely to kick in until next year, but the consumer groups argued that consumers should be allowed to take advantage of the price cuts immediately.

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