Charter, Advance/Newhouse Sue FCC

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Charter Communications Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Communications went to federal court Tuesday to overturn set-top-box rules adopted in March by the Federal Communications Commission.

The cable companies filed the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, alleging that the FCC exceeded its authority and abused its discretion.

In the March order, the commission ordered cable operators to discontinue the sale or lease of integrated set-top boxes effective July 2007. Integrated boxes combine security and channel-surfing functions. To promote set-top-box competition, the FCC wants security features to function on a plug-and-play basis with third-party boxes.

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