§ 76.1603Customer service—rate and service changes.
(a) A cable franchise authority may enforce the customer service standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section against cable operators. The franchise authority must provide affected cable operators 90 days written notice of its intent to enforce standards.
(b) Customers will be notified of any changes in rates, programming services or channel positions as soon as possible in writing. Notice must be given to subscribers a minimum of thirty (30) days in advance of such changes if the change is within the control of the cable operator. In addition, the cable operator shall notify subscribers 30 days in advance of any significant changes in the other information required by § 76.1602.
(c) In addition to the requirement of paragraph (b) of this section regarding advance notification to customers of any changes in rates, programming services or channel positions, cable systems shall give 30 days written notice to both subscribers and local franchising authorities before implementing any rate or service change. Such notice shall state the precise amount of any rate change and briefly explain in readily understandable fashion the cause of the rate change (e.g., inflation, change in external costs or the addition/deletion of channels). When the change involves the addition or deletion of channels, each channel added or deleted must be separately identified. For purposes of the carriage of digital broadcast signals, the operator need only identify for subscribers, the television signal added and not whether that signal may be multiplexed during certain dayparts.
(d) A cable operator shall provide written notice to a subscriber of any increase in the price to be charged for the basic service tier or associated equipment at least 30 days before any proposed increase is effective. The notice should include the name and address of the local franchising authority.
(e) To the extent the operator is required to provide notice of service and rate changes to subscribers, the operator may provide such notice using any reasonable written means at its sole discretion.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of part 76 of this chapter, a cable operator shall not be required to provide prior notice of any rate change that is the result of a regulatory fee, franchise fee, or any other fee, tax, assessment, or charge of any kind imposed by any Federal agency, State, or franchising authority on the transaction between the operator and the subscriber.
Section 624(d)(3) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 544(d)(3), contains additional notification provisions pertaining to cable operators who offer a premium channel without charge to cable subscribers who do not subscribe to such premium channel.