The Federal Communications Commission made it official Friday: The agency won’t begin regulating cable TV rates until Oct. 1.
Interim FCC chairman James Quello said the decision to postpone rate regulation came after discussions with key members of Congress, including House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.)
(Daily Variety, June 11).
Originally, the FCC had planned to begin regulating cable rates June 21. However, the cash-starved commission is still awaiting final approval from Congress for an emergency $ 11.5 million to carry out cable regulation, and interim FCC chairman James Quello said that even if the coin is earmarked immediately, it will take the FCC months to train new employees in the nuances of the new cable law.
As a result of the rate regulation delay, cable TV prices will remain frozen until at least Oct. 1, Quello said.
Quello said he has also shelved a proposal he floated last week to exempt small cable operators with fewer than 1,000 subscribers from all aspects of the new reregulation law. The FCC cannot exempt small operators from the bill’s mandates, he said.