Small cablers get reg reprieve

The FCC Tuesday granted cable TV companies with fewer than 1,000 subscribers a delay in the effective date of new rate regulation rules. But the agency said the new rules will become effective Sept. 1 for all other cable systems.

Decision to “stay” the Sept. 1 date for small cablers was hailed by the Community Antenna Television Assn. CATA prez Steve Effros said the delay “will allow a more orderly transition to the new regulatory environment for small system operators.

Systems serving fewer than 1,000 subscribers make up more than half the 11, 000 cable systems in the nation, according to CATA.

In taking its action, the FCC said that even small systems owned by the largest cable MSOs in the country would qualify for the stay.

Under the FCC’s new regulations, cable rates are expected to fall an average of 10% for basic and expanded basic rates. Price cuts are not expected to kick in until early next year.

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