Regarding the FCC’s release of its “white copy” agenda item proposing to grant Charter’s request for relief from rate regulation for its cable services in certain communities in Massachusetts and Hawaii, Free State Foundation President Randolph May issued the following statement:
“The FCC’s proposed order granting Charter’s petition for relief from rate regulation is a very big deal. For the first time, the Commission is relying on the existence of a video streaming service, in this case, AT&T’S DIRECTV NOW, for purposes of applying the Communications Act's ‘effective competition’ test in considering rate relief. If the Commission adopts the order, this will be a commendable step by Chairman Pai and his colleagues in recognizing the reality that the video marketplace is now very competitive, and for the agency to ignore over-the-top streaming would be to close its institutional eyes.
Indeed, Congress needs to update the Communications Act to get rid of most video regulations, including regulation of cable rates, because those regulations are a relic of a long-gone video era."