Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 10:28 AM

Cable Price Survey Launched as FCC Gears up for Inaugural Communications Marketplace Report

By Kevin Kay


The FCC’s Media Bureau has adopted an Order initiating an industry survey on cable prices.  Survey feedback will feature in the first installment of the Communications Marketplace Report, which the Commission is required to submit to Congress in the last quarter of every even-numbered year, pursuant to the omnibus budget bill passed in March.  The consolidated biennial report replaces the eight separate reports on competition among communications service providers that the FCC was previously required to submit.


The Order directs a random sample of cable operators to respond to a price survey questionnaire about basic service rates, cable programming service, and equipment.  The survey asks about an operator’s monthly charge for basic service and expanded basic service as of January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018.  It also requests information on other factors such as the monthly equipment charge, number of subscribers, number of channels offered on each level of service, availability of advanced services such as Internet access, and channel lineups.  In addition to being included in the Communications Marketplace Report, the survey data will be made publicly available in aggregate form as averages representing segments of the industry.


Instructions for completing the questionnaire are attached to the Order as Appendix B.  Cable operators selected for the survey must complete and file the questionnaire by September 14, 2018.

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