Jenner & Block

FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Remand Limiting Local Regulation of Cable Services in Light of Sixth Circuit Decision in Montgomery County, MD v. FCC

On September 25, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that clarifies the power of local franchising authorities (LFAs) to impose “in-kind” (i.e., non-monetary) exactions in cable franchise negotiations and to regulate non-cable services offered by cable providers.     

The Commission seeks comment on various interpretations and asks for cost data from LFAs to the extent they intend to argue that the rules would hamper their ability to meet any statutory obligations.  The Commission seeks data from providers regarding the effect, if any, excluding cable-related, in-kind contributions from “franchise fees” would have on infrastructure development and other investments.[1]  The Commission also seeks comment on tentative conclusions and analysis regarding the mixed-use rule, and it seeks data to determine the extent to which LFAs currently regulate non-cable services.[2]

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