FCC Holds Up Sub Refunds


The Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau last week stayed the date by which Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications must pay refunds to CableCard subscribers who lost access to switched digital video channels in 2007, pending the outcome of the companies' petition for reconsideration.

The bureau this January issued orders fining Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications for moving some channels from their broadcast lineups to switched digital video, which made that programming inaccessible to CableCard-based devices like TiVo DVRs.

The orders covered TWC Oceanic's Oahu and Kauai systems and Cox's Fairfax County, Va., system. The Enforcement Bureau levied $20,000 fines on each system; both Cox and TWC on Feb. 18 filed petitions for reconsideration of the forfeiture orders.

The bureau originally ordered TWC and Cox to issue refunds to CableCard customers within 90 days. However, to “fully consider the merits of the petitions for reconsideration, we are staying indefinitely the effective date of the refund requirements set forth in the forfeiture orders,” the bureau said in the April 14 order.