Today the FCC ruled that live TV streaming services like YouTube TV and AT&T TV NOW do give effective competition to cable TV. Because of this ruling local governments in parts of Hawaii and Massachusetts can no longer enforce rate regulations.
“The Federal Communications Commission today adopted an Order granting Charter Communication’s Petition for Determination of Effective Competition, based on a finding that Charter is subject to effective competition from the AT&T TV NOW video streaming service in certain franchise areas in Hawaii and Massachusetts where Charter is currently subject to rate regulation.” The FCC said in a statement on its website.
The FCC went on to say: “In today’s Order, the Commission finds the local franchise authorities in Kauai, Hawaii and 32 communities in Massachusetts may not regulate basic-tier cable rates because Charter is subject to effective competition under the statutory local exchange carrier (LEC) test, which recognizes competing video programming provided by affiliates of LECs as effective competition for purposes of rate deregulation. ”
This ruling lays out a standard that could help other cable companies in other markets with rate regulations to break free. This is a major step forward for streaming services as now they are considered in the eyes of the FCC as equal to cable TV companies when looking at the competition. What this means going forward is unknown right now but will likely have long term implications.
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