FCC Liberates 400K Time Warner Subs

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The Federal Communications Commission declared Friday that nearly 400,000 Time Warner Cable subscribers in Southern California are no longer entitled to regulated rates on the basic tier.

The FCC determined that deregulation was appropriate because Time Warner had demonstrated that within each franchise area, satellite-TV penetration had exceeded 15% of area households.

Among the largest communities deregulated were Costa Mesa, Torrance, Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita.

As a result of the FCC's action, local regulators may not set the price of basic cable (which every subscriber must purchase), and Time Warner is no longer required to offer a uniform rate structure within a franchise area.

And an FCC rule that allows a basic subscriber to buy a premium service like Home Box Office without having to buy another tier of service no longer applies in the affected communities.

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