October 25, 2021

Jenner & Block represents Altice USA Inc. in a case challenging state efforts to require cable operators to sell a partial month of service to customers who cancel their subscriptions. Such efforts violate the federal Cable Act’s preemption of state and local regulation of cable rates.

On October 15, a New Jersey state appeals court invalidated the state cable regulator’s order that Altice must prorate customers’ final bills. The decision backed a federal judge's determination that the mandate encroaches upon federal law. Jenner & Block also represented Altice in that action.

The two-judge Appellate Division panel’s decision allows Altice to enforce its “whole month” billing policy, where customers who cancel service before the month’s end do not get a refund. That practice drew a cease-and-desist order from the state’s Board of Public Utilities.

The team representing Altice includes Partners Matthew S. Hellman and Howard J. Symons and Associates Alex Langlinais and Allison M. Tjemsland. Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson and Practice Assistant Beth Gulden provided valuable support.

News of the panel’s decision was reported by Law360.

This is one of four federal lawsuits that Jenner & Block has been handling on behalf of major cable companies and the trade association that will shape the future of cable regulation. In May, we secured a victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.