FCC Considers New Rules to Block Cable and Satellite TV Junk Fees as the CPUC’s Video Customer Service Proceeding Advances

Best Best & Krieger LLP

Best Best & Krieger LLP

Both Agencies Want to Hear from Local Governments

The FCC will vote on December 13, 2023 to initiate a proceeding to prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from imposing early termination fees and or requiring subscribers to pay for a complete billing cycle even when they cancel service mid-cycle. The fees that would be prohibited are often outrageous. For example, in one regulatory proceeding, a state attorney general accused Comcast of charging consumers more than $200 to cancel their service. Subscription TV services like cable and satellite continue to rank at the bottom of consumer satisfaction, year after year.

This rulemaking is part of an ongoing effort by the FCC, under the Biden Administration, to block rising prices and unpopular hidden junk fees in the services it regulates. The FCC is particularly seeking the input and expertise of local governments as it considers adopting new consumer protection rules.

Separately, the CPUC rulemaking considering new video customer service protections and CPUC adjudication of complaints (CPUC R.23-04-006) continues to advance with a pre-hearing conference set for the same date as the FCC meeting. This rulemaking was initiated earlier this year to implement SB 28. Among other topics, the CPUC is asking for input on local government’s role in enforcement.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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