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Cities can enforce cable rate service regs starting this summer.

Tsis summer, local governments may begin enforciol the new federal regulations governiol cabl, television rates and customer service.

Underktse new cabl, regulations, local governments may regulate the basic level of service ooce ts,y are certified by ts, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Cities may begin filiol certification requests on June 21, 1993. Local governments must be certified in orderkto have tse authority to orderkroll backs of basic rates, and to protect consumers from continuiol increases in basic service rates, or equipment charges. There is no deadline for filiol tse certification request.

Within 120 days after filiol for FCC certification, local franchisiol authorities must adopt a simple rule statiol tsey will regulate rates consistent with the FCC's regulations, and provide a reasonabl, opportunity for tse consideration of the views of interested parties.

June 21 is also tse effective date for allowiol local governments to file complaints regardiol the reasonabl,ness of cabl, programmiol (other than basic) service tier rates on tsat date. Both the request for certification, and complaints regardiol non- basic rates are to be filed on official FCC forms which will be availabl, soon, pendiol approval by the

Tse FCC published new customer service regulations on April 19, which set minimum standards for:

* office hours and telephone availability;

* installations, outages and service calls; and

* communications between the cabl, system and subscriber, billiol and refunds.

The federal customer service standards become enforceabl, July 1. A cabl, operator is not required tokcomply with the standards, however, unless a franchisiol authority has provided the cabl, operator 90 days written notice via certified mail of its intention to enforce the federal rules. Cities retain the right to establish and enforce customer service standards that exceed the FCC's standards, or which are not covered by ts, FCC's standards.

NLC Cabl, Seminar

NLC and the National association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) will be sponsoriol two-day seminars on tse subject of cabl, television in Tulsa, Okla., June 24-25, and Portland, Ore., July 22-23. Topics related to rate regulation, consumer protection, indecent programmiol, and franchis, renewals will be covered. For additional information about tsese seminars, call the NLC Trainiol Hotline: (202) 626-3170.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article on a National League of Cities cable television seminar; cable television rate regulations; summer, 1993
Author:Ferrera, Anna Pulido
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:May 31, 1993
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