Brian Santo, CEDmagazine, 03/16/2015
The FCC has opened up the question of whether cable companies - especially smaller cable operators - should have their basic rates be automatically deregulated.
Today, the FCC operates under the presumption that a cable operator does not have effective competition, unless it demonstrates otherwise. If a cable does not have effective competition, its rates are subject to regulation, not market conditions.
The Commission today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that asks if the availability of DirecTV and Dish Network in a market (both cover at least 99 percent of U.S. markets) automatically qualifies as "effective competition."
As it stands, the FCC reports, it grants most cable operator petitions to be absolved of rate regulation because of competition from the two satellite providers.
Judging from numerous articles about so-called "cord cutters" who discontinue cable TV subscriptions in favor of internet-delivered television programming, one might conclude that the internet also constitutes competition for cable TV. See, for example, "2014: The year of living cable TV-free" by Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle, January 19, republished here by Monty Solomon on January 26.