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Cox to refund $7 mil in FCC deal

Cox Communications has agreed to refund $7.1 million plus interest to its cable TV subscribers, and will stop charging customers for second and third hookups under a proposed deal with the Federal Communications Commission.

The proposed settlement, if ultimately approved, would end FCC probes into some 400 allegations that Cox overcharged cable subscribers following passage of the 1992 cable reregulation bill.

An FCC spokesman said some 1 million Cox subscriber will receive refunds, in the form of credits on monthly bills spread over several months. The average refund will be about $9. In addition, Cox customers in 171 franchise areas will no longer be required to pay for additional cable hookups, according to the FCC staffer.

Under the proposal, Cox is permitted to move up to four regulated cable channels to a single migrated product tier, so long as the franchise area does not offer a la carte programming.

The settlement stipulates that Cox is not admitting it violated FCC cable price caps.

Interested parties are given until Oct. 17 to comment on the proposed settlement, with reply comments due on Nov. 1.

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