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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes eliminating the mandatory reporting form (“Form 325”) the FCC uses to track cable prices and subscriber information. The FCC is required by law to report annually to Congress on both cable pricing and competition in the cable industry.
Public Knowledge has repeatedly advocated for Congress and the FCC to take action to eliminate cable price gouging and take steps to enhance competition in the video industry. The FCC’s annual reports on cable pricing and cable competition are one of the few non-proprietary, publicly available sources of information on the structure of the cable industry and pricing in the cable industry. It is a major source of information for consumers, reporters, advocates, and policymakers.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge.
“Once again, the FCC, under the leadership of Chairman Pai, decides to side with the cable industry at the expense of consumers. Eliminating the existing mandatory cable reporting form will make it easier for cable operators to hide systemic overcharges, below the line fees, and other methods of price gouging subscribers. It will make it harder to track the ongoing consolidation of the media.
“The proposal will make it harder for Congress or state regulators to track cable excess and take steps to curb abuses. It will make it easier for cable operators to hide the fact that cable subscriber fees have continued to rise annually far faster than inflation. This is yet another example of an industry giveaway from Chairman Pai.”