Sec. 150-26-15 - Rate Regulation

ยง 150-26-15. Rate Regulation

15.1. The Commission is authorized by W. Va. Code '24D-1-1 et seq. to regulate rates and charges of cable television systems to the extent allowed by federal law. The Congress of the United States established a national policy concerning cable communications. (P.L. 98-549 as codified at 47 U.S.C. '521 et seq.) Subsequently, Congress amended this national policy to allow limited regulation of rates and charges by franchising authorities including the Commission. (P.L. 102-305) However, the Commission must become certified with the Federal Communications Commission (hereinafter "FCC") before the Commission may undertake regulation of rates and charges. (47 U.S.C. '543) Part of the certification criteria is the requirement that the Commission adopt regulations consistent with the FCC's regulations regarding rates subject to regulation under 47 U.S.C. '543 and that the Commission adopt regulations regarding rate regulations proceedings which provide a reasonable opportunity for the consideration of the views of interested parties.

15.2. The Commission will follow the rate regulations now or in the future promulgated by the FCC and all rate regulation proceedings shall be in accord with such FCC regulations. All parties to any rate regulation proceeding before the Commission should make reference to and consult the appropriate FCC regulations.

15.3. Any interested party shall be allowed to present his/her/its views regarding any request for cable rate approval to the Commission for consideration. Any interested party may make a written submission by hand delivery or by United States' mail, return receipt requested, which must be received at the Commission's offices no later than ten (10) calendar days prior to the first date the Commission is required to act on any request for cable rate approval. If the Commission invokes its authority to extend the time allowed for consideration of any request, no written submission may be filed during the extension period. In addition to or in lieu of a written submission, any interested party may appear before the Commission at any meeting at which any request for cable rate approval is to be considered. As the Commission is not required by federal law to hold a hearing on any request for cable rate approval, any interested party desiring to speak at a hearing, if one is held, shall notify the Executive Secretary of the Commission of such intent no later than the last business day before any such hearing is to be held. When any request for cable rate approval is filed with the Commission any interested party may file with the Executive Secretary a contingent statement of intent to make an appearance at any hearing. The interested party shall provide the Executive Secretary such information as the Executive Secretary may deem necessary for purposes of giving notice (telephonically, if possible, and/or by United States mail return receipt requested if feasible) of any hearing which may be scheduled pursuant to such request for cable rate approval. In the event a hearing is scheduled, the Executive Secretary shall give any interested party which has filed a contingent notice of intent such reasonable notice of the hearing as may be possible.

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