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FCC OKs non-video fees for cablers’ customers

Pasadena defeated in court

NEW YORK — The Federal Communications Commission gave the go ahead Thursday for cablers to make customers pay the pricetag of local franchise fees for non-video services, such as home shopping and cable modems.

Ruling was a defeat for the city of Pasadena, which has argued that it’s wrong for the cable biz to pass on the cost to subscribers. Pasadena brought its challenge in 1999.

Cablers countered that municipalities just didn’t want customers to know how high the franchise fees are for non-video services.

Those tracking the issue said they expect Pasadena and the other municipalities involved in the action to challenge the FCC decision in court.

Also Thursday, the FCC advised the cable industry to voluntarily notify customers that they have a right not to receive certain channels, such as adult programming. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that cablers don’t have to inform subscribers, but Thursday’s FCC advisory said it’s still a good idea.

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