For Immediate Release
April 09, 2012
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Mayor's Press Office
The Federal Communications Commission today ruled in favor of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s petition asking for a return of Basic Cable Rate Regulation in Boston, signaling a victory for consumers who have faced ever-increasing cable rates and a lack of competition in the city.
“We’re pleased that the FCC recognizes what we’ve been saying all along – cable isn’t competitive in Boston,” Mayor Menino said. “Comcast’s disproportionate rate increases on basic cable service put an undue burden on Boston’s working families, who rely on this service for essential local news and programming. They are upset and frustrated with increasing rates and a lack of choice in cable providers.”
The FCC released its order 11 months after Boston’s filing, granting re-certification of basic cable rate regulation in Boston. The action overturns the 2001 order that eliminated Basic Cable rate regulation in Boston.
Most people in Boston only have one choice when it comes to cable television. Mayor Menino, who frequently advocates for consumers, warns about the danger presented by a lack of competition, which is also visible in another contested decision by the FCC to allow Comcast to partner with Verizon.
“Boston needs either cable choice or rate protection. That’s why we also asked the FCC to deny a $3.9 billion spectrum deal between Verizon and other cable companies, including Comcast. In that deal, Comcast will become Verizon’s business partner – not a competitor,” Mayor Menino said. “This would shut the door on any hope that Verizon FiOS will come into Boston and hurts the future of competition.”
Comcast is expected to appeal today’s decision.