47 CFR 76.933 - Franchising authority review of basic cable rates and equipment costs.

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There are 3 Updates appearing in the Federal Register for 47 CFR 76. View below or at eCFR (GPOAccess)
§ 76.933 Franchising authority review of basic cable rates and equipment costs.
(a) After a cable operator has submitted for review its existing rates for the basic service tier and associated equipment costs, or a proposed increase in these rates (including increases in the baseline channel change that results from reductions in the number of channels in a tier) under the quarterly rate adjustment system pursuant to Section 76.922(d), the existing rates will remain in effect or the proposed rates will become effective after 30 days from the date of submission; Provided, however, that the franchising authority may toll this 30-day deadline for an additional time by issuing a brief written order as described in paragraph (b) within 30 days of the rate submission explaining that it needs additional time to review the rates.
(b) If the franchising authority is unable to determine, based upon the material submitted by the cable operator, that the existing, or proposed rates under the quarterly adjustment system pursuant to Section 76.922(d), are within the Commission's permitted basic service tier charge or actual cost of equipment as defined in §§ 76.922 and 76.923, or if a cable operator has submitted a cost-of-service showing pursuant §§ 76.937(c) and 76.924, seeking to justify a rate above the Commission's basic service tier charge as defined in §§ 76.922 and 76.923, the franchising authority may toll the 30-day deadline in paragraph (a) of this section to request and/or consider additional information or to consider the comments from interested parties as follows:
(1) For an additional 90 days in cases not involving cost-of-service showings; or
(2) For an additional 150 days in cases involving cost-of-service showings.
(c) If a franchising authority has availed itself of the additional 90 or 150 days permitted in paragraph (b) of this section, and has taken no action within these additional time periods, then the proposed rates will go into effect at the end of the 90 or 150 day periods, or existing rates will remain in effect at such times, subject to refunds if the franchising authority subsequently issues a written decision disapproving any portion of such rates: Provided, however, That in order to order refunds, a franchising authority must have issued a brief written order to the cable operator by the end of the 90 or 150-day period permitted in paragraph (b) of this section directing the operator to keep an accurate account of all amounts received by reason of the rate in issue and on whose behalf such amounts were paid.
(d) A franchising authority may request, pursuant to a petition for special relief under § 76.7, that the Commission examine a cable operator's cost-of-service showing, submitted to the franchising authority as justification of basic tier rates, within 30 days of receipt of a cost-of-service showing. In its petition, the franchising authority shall document its reasons for seeking Commission assistance. The franchising authority shall issue an order stating that it is seeking Commission assistance and serve a copy before the 30-day deadline on the cable operator submitting the cost showing. The cable operator shall deliver a copy of the cost showing, together with all relevant attachments, to the Commission within 15 days of receipt of the local authority's notice to seek Commission assistance. The Commission shall notify the local franchising authority and the cable operator of its ruling and of the basic tier rate, as established by the Commission. The rate shall take effect upon implementation by the franchising authority of such ruling and refund liability shall be governed thereon. The Commission's ruling shall be binding on the franchising authority and the cable operator. A cable operator or franchising authority may seek reconsideration of the ruling pursuant to § 1.106(a)(1) of this chapter or review by the Commission pursuant to § 1.115(a) of this chapter.
(e) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, when the franchising authority is regulating basic service tier rates, a cable operator that sets its rates pursuant to the quarterly rate adjustment system pursuant to § 76.922(d) may increase its rates for basic service to reflect the imposition of, or increase in, franchise fees or Commission cable television system regulatory fees imposed pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 159. For the purposes of paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, the increased rate attributable to Commission regulatory fees or franchise fees shall be treated as an “existing rate”, subject to subsequent review and refund if the franchising authority determines that the increase in basic tier rates exceeds the increase in regulatory fees or in franchise fees allocable to the basic tier. This determination shall be appealable to the Commission pursuant to § 76.944. When the Commission is regulating basic service tier rates pursuant to § 76.945 or cable programming service rates pursuant to § 76.960, an increase in those rates resulting from franchise fees or Commission regulatory fees shall be reviewed by the Commission pursuant to the mechanisms set forth in § 76.945. A cable operator must adjust its rates to reflect decreases in franchise fees or Commission regulatory fees within the periods set forth in § 76.922(d)(3)(i),(iii).
(f) For an operator that sets its rates pursuant to the quarterly rate adjustment system pursuant to Section 76.922(d), cable television system regulatory fees assessed by the Commission pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 159 shall be recovered in monthly installments during the fiscal year following the year for which the payment was imposed. Payments shall be collected in equal monthly installments, except that for so many months as may be necessary to avoid fractional payments, an additional $0.01 payment per month may be collected. All such additional payments shall be collected in the last month or months of the fiscal year, so that once collections of such payments begin there shall be no month remaining in the year in which the operator is not entitled to such an additional payment. Operators may not assess interest. Operators may provide notice of the entire fiscal year's regulatory fee pass-through in a single notice.
(g) A cable operator that submits for review a proposed change in its existing rates for the basic service tier and associated equipment costs using the annual filing system pursuant to Section 76.922(e) shall do so no later than 90 days from the effective date of the proposed rates. The franchising authority will have 90 days from the date of the filing to review it. However, if the franchising authority or its designee concludes that the operator has submitted a facially incomplete filing, the franchising authority's deadline for issuing a decision, the date on which rates may go into effect if no decision is issued, and the period for which refunds are payable will be tolled while the franchising authority is waiting for this information, provided that, in order to toll these effective dates, the franchising authority or its designee must notify the operator of the incomplete filing within 45 days of the date the filing is made.
(1) If there is a material change in an operator's circumstances during the 90-day review period and the change affects the operator's rate change filing, the operator may file an amendment to its Form 1240 prior to the end of the 90-day review period. If the operator files such an amendment, the franchising authority will have at least 30 days to review the filing. Therefore, if the amendment is filed more than 60 days after the operator made its initial filing, the operator's proposed rate change may not go into effect any earlier than 30 days after the filing of its amendment. However, if the operator files its amended application on or prior to the sixtieth day of the 90-day review period, the operator may implement its proposed rate adjustment, as modified by the amendment, 90 days after its initial filing.
(2) If a franchising authority has taken no action within the 90-day review period, then the proposed rates may go into effect at the end of the review period, subject to a prospective rate reduction and refund if the franchising authority subsequently issues a written decision disapproving any portion of such rates, provided, however, that in order to order a prospective rate reduction and refund, if an operator inquires as to whether the franchising authority intends to issue a rate order after the initial review period, the franchising authority or its designee must notify the operator of its intent in this regard within 15 days of the operator's inquiry. If a proposed rate goes into effect before the franchising authority issues its rate order, the franchising authority will have 12 months from the date the operator filed for the rate adjustment to issue its rate order. In the event that the franchising authority does not act within this 12-month period, it may not at a later date order a refund or a prospective rate reduction with respect to the rate filing.
(3) At the time an operator files its rates with the franchising authority, the operator may give customers notice of the proposed rate changes. Such notice should state that the proposed rate change is subject to approval by the franchising authority. If the operator is only permitted a smaller increase than was provided for in the notice, the operator must provide an explanation to subscribers on the bill in which the rate adjustment is implemented. If the operator is not permitted to implement any of the rate increase that was provided for in the notice, the operator must provide an explanation to subscribers within 60 days of the date of the franchising authority's decision. Additional advance notice is only required in the unlikely event that the rate exceeds the previously noticed rate.
(4) If an operator files for a rate adjustment under Section 76.922(e)(2)(iii)(B) for the addition of required channels to the basic service tier that the operator is required by federal or local law to carry, or, if a single-tier operator files for a rate adjustment based on a mid-year channel addition allowed under Section 76.922(e)(2)(iii)(C), the franchising authority has 60 days to review the requested rate. The proposed rate shall take effect at the end of this 60-day period unless the franchising authority rejects the proposed rate as unreasonable. In order to order refunds and prospective rate reductions, the franchising authority shall be subject to the requirements described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.
(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, when the franchising authority is regulating basic service tier rates, a cable operator may increase its rates for basic service to reflect the imposition of, or increase in, franchise fees. The increased rate attributable to Commission regulatory fees or franchise fees shall be subject to subsequent review and refund if the franchising authority determines that the increase in basic tier rates exceeds the increase in regulatory fees or in franchise fees allocable to the basic tier. This determination shall be appealable to the Commission pursuant to § 76.944. When the Commission is regulating basic service tier rates pursuant to § 76.945 or cable programming service rates pursuant to § 76.960, an increase in those rates resulting from franchise fees or Commission regulatory fees shall be reviewed by the Commission pursuant to the mechanisms set forth in § 76.945.
(h) If an operator files an FCC Form 1205 for the purpose of setting the rate for a new type of equipment under Section 76.923(o), the franchising authority has 60 days to review the requested rate. The proposed rate shall take effect at the end of this 60-day period unless the franchising authority rejects the proposed rate as unreasonable.
(1) If the operator's most recent rate filing was based on the system that enables them to file up to once per quarter found at Section 76.922(d), the franchising authority must issue an accounting order before the end of the 60-day period in order to order refunds and prospective rate reductions.
(2) If the operator's most recent rate filing was based on the annual rate system at Section 76.922(e), in order to order refunds and prospective rate reductions, the franchising authority shall be subject to the requirements described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.
[58 FR 29753, May 21, 1993, as amended at 59 FR 17973, Apr. 15, 1994; 59 FR 53115, Oct. 21, 1994; 60 FR 52119, Oct. 5, 1995; 61 FR 18978, Apr. 30, 1996]
Effective Date Note:
At 60 FR 52119, Oct. 5, 1995, in § 76.933, paragraph (h) was added. This amendment contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until 30 days after approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 47.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-10-24; vol. 79 # 206 - Friday, October 24, 2014
    1. 79 FR 63547 - Sports Blackout Rules
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      Effective November 24, 2014.
      47 CFR Part 76

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 47 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

§ 151 - Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created

§ 152 - Application of chapter

§ 153 - Definitions

§ 154 - Federal Communications Commission

§ 301 - License for radio communication or transmission of energy

§ 302 - Repealed. June 5, 1936, ch. 511,

§ 302a - Devices which interfere with radio reception

§ 303 - Powers and duties of Commission

§ 303a - Standards for children’s television programming

§ 307 - Licenses

§ 308 - Requirements for license

§ 309 - Application for license

§ 312 - Administrative sanctions

§ 315 - Candidates for public office

§ 317 - Announcement of payment for broadcast

§ 325 - False, fraudulent, or unauthorized transmissions

§ 339 - Carriage of distant television stations by satellite carriers

§ 340 - Significantly viewed signals permitted to be carried

§ 341 - Carriage of television signals to certain subscribers

§ 503 - Forfeitures

§ 521 - Purposes

§ 522 - Definitions

§ 531 - Cable channels for public, educational, or governmental use

§ 532 - Cable channels for commercial use

§ 534 - Carriage of local commercial television signals

§ 535 - Carriage of noncommercial educational television

§ 536 - Regulation of carriage agreements

§ 537 - Sales of cable systems

§ 543 - Regulation of rates

§ 544 - Regulation of services, facilities, and equipment

§ 544a - Consumer electronics equipment compatibility

§ 545 - Modification of franchise obligations

§ 549 - Competitive availability of navigation devices

§ 552 - Consumer protection and customer service

§ 554 - Equal employment opportunity

§ 556 - Coordination of Federal, State, and local authority

§ 558 - Criminal and civil liability

§ 560 - Scrambling of cable channels for nonsubscribers

§ 561 - Scrambling of sexually explicit adult video service programming

§ 571 - Regulatory treatment of video programming services

§ 572 - Prohibition on buy outs

Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR 76 after this date.

  • 2014-10-24; vol. 79 # 206 - Friday, October 24, 2014
    1. 79 FR 63547 - Sports Blackout Rules
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      Effective November 24, 2014.
      47 CFR Part 76