Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Media Bureau Granted Petition Filed By Comcast Cable Communications

Download Options

Released: June 28, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

MB Docket No. 12-9 CSR 8571-E
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, on behalf
)
MB Docket No. 12-10 CSR 8572-E
of its subsidiaries and affiliates
)
MB Docket No. 12-11 CSR 8573-E
)
MB Docket No. 12-12 CSR 8574-E
Petitions for Determination of Effective
)
Competition in 19 Communities in Illinois
)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted: June 27, 2013

Released: June 28, 2013

By the Senior Deputy Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

1. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, on behalf of its subsidiaries and affiliates,
hereinafter referred to as "Petitioner," has filed with the Commission a petition pursuant to Sections
76.7, 76.905(b)(2), and 76.907 of the Commission's rules for a determination that Petitioner is subject
to effective competition in those communities listed on Attachment A and hereinafter referred to as the
"Attachment A Communities." Petitioner alleges that its cable systems serving the Attachment A
Communities are subject to effective competition pursuant to Section 623(l)(1)(B) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Communications Act"),1 and the Commission's
implementing rules,2 and are therefore exempt from cable rate regulation in the Attachment A
Communities because of the competing service provided by two direct broadcast satellite ("DBS")
providers, DIRECTV, Inc. ("DIRECTV"), and DISH Network ("DISH"), and AT&T (collectively, the
"Competing Providers"). Petitioner additionally claims to be exempt from cable rate regulation in the
community listed on Attachment B and hereinafter referred to as Attachment B Community, pursuant to
Section 623(l)(1)(A) of the Communications Act3 and Section 76.905(b)(1) of the Commission's rules,4
because the Petitioner serves fewer than 30 percent of the households in the franchise area. The
petitions are unopposed.5
2. In the absence of a demonstration to the contrary, cable systems are presumed not to be
subject to effective competition,6 as that term is defined by Section 623(l) of the Communications Act
and Section 76.905 of the Commission's rules.7 The cable operator bears the burden of rebutting the


1 See 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(B).
2 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2).
3 See 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(A).
4 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(1).
5 A franchise authority for one of the Attachment A Communities in MB Docket No. 12-11, the Village of Mettawa,
Illinois, requested an extension of time in which to consider filing an opposition. Ultimately, the Village decided
not to file anything. E-Mail from Gregory T. Smith, Esq., Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd., to John W. Berresford,
Esq., Media Bureau, March 8, 2012, 2:49 PM.
6 47 C.F.R. 76.906.
7 See 47 U.S.C. 543(l); 47 C.F.R. 76.905.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

presumption that effective competition does not exist with evidence that effective competition is present
within the relevant franchise area.8 For the reasons set forth below, we grant the petitions based on our
finding that Petitioner is subject to effective competition in the Communities listed on Attachments A
and B.

II.

DISCUSSION

A.

The Competing Provider Test

3. Section 623(l)(1)(B) of the Communications Act provides that a cable operator is subject to
effective competition if the franchise area is (a) served by at least two unaffiliated multi-channel video
programming distributors ("MVPDs") each of which offers comparable video programming to at least
50 percent of the households in the franchise area; and (b) the number of households subscribing to
programming services offered by MVPDs other than the largest MVPD exceeds 15 percent of the
households in the franchise area.9 This test is referred to as the "competing provider" test.
4. The first prong of this test has three elements: the franchise area must be "served by" at
least two unaffiliated MVPDs who offer "comparable programming" to at least "50 percent" of the
households in the franchise area.10 It is undisputed that the Attachment A Communities are "served by"
both DBS providers, DIRECTV and DISH, and that these two MVPD providers are unaffiliated with
Petitioner or with each other. A franchise area is considered "served by" an MVPD if that MVPD's
service is both technically and actually available in the franchise area. DBS service is presumed to be
technically available due to its nationwide satellite footprint, and presumed to be actually available if
households in the franchise area are made reasonably aware of the service's availability.11 The
Commission has held that a party may use evidence of penetration rates in the franchise area (the
second prong of the competing provider test discussed below) coupled with the ubiquity of DBS
services to show that consumers are reasonably aware of the availability of DBS service.12 We further
find that Petitioner has provided sufficient evidence to support its assertion that potential customers in
those Communities are reasonably aware that they may purchase the service of these MVPD
providers.13 The "comparable programming" element is met if a competing MVPD provider offers at
least 12 channels of video programming, including at least one channel of nonbroadcast service
programming,14 and is supported in the petitions with copies of channel lineups for both DIRECTV and
DISH.15 Also undisputed is Petitioner's assertion that both DIRECTV and DISH offer service to at
least "50 percent" of the households in the Attachment A Communities because of their national
satellite footprint.16 Accordingly, we find that the first prong of the competing provider test is satisfied.
5. The second prong of the competing provider test requires that the number of households
subscribing to MVPDs, other than the largest MVPD, exceed 15 percent of the households in a


8 See 47 C.F.R. 76.906-.907(b).
9 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2).
10 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2)(i).
11 See, e.g., Petition in CSR 8571-E at 3.
12 Mediacom Illinois LLC, 21 FCC Rcd 1175, 1176, 3 (2006).
13 47 C.F.R. 76.905(e)(2).
14 See 47 C.F.R. 76.905(g); see also, e.g., Petition in CSR 8572-E at 5.
15 See, e.g., Petition in CSR 8574-E at Ex. 2.
16 See, e.g., Petition in CSR 8571-E at 3.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

franchise area. Petitioner asserts that it is the largest MVPD in the Attachment A Communities.17
Petitioner sought to determine the competing provider penetration there by purchasing a subscriber
tracking report from the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association that identified the
number of subscribers attributable to the DBS providers within the Attachment A Communities on a zip
code plus four basis.18 Petitioner obtained subscriber numbers for AT&T directly from that company.
AT&T requested that its subscriber numbers be kept confidential. We will accede to that request in this
proceeding by combining subscribership figures for AT&T and DBS providers. In providing the
aggregate number of competing provider subscribers, we are thereby safeguarding AT&T's request for
confidentiality.19
6. Based upon the aggregate Competing Provider subscriber penetration levels that Petitioner
calculated, we find that Petitioner has demonstrated that the number of households subscribing to
programming services offered by MVPDs, other than the largest MVPD, exceeds 15 percent of the
households in the Attachment A Communities. Therefore, the second prong of the competing provider
test is satisfied for each of the Attachment A Communities. Based on the foregoing, we conclude that
Petitioner has submitted sufficient evidence demonstrating that both prongs of the competing provider
test are satisfied and Petitioner is subject to effective competition in the Attachment A Communities.

B.

The Low Penetration Test

7. Section 623(l)(1)(A) of the Communications Act provides that a cable operator is subject to
effective competition if the Petitioner serves fewer than 30 percent of the households in the franchise
area. This test is referred to as the "low penetration" test.20 Petitioner alleges that it is subject to
effective competition under the low penetration effective competition test because it serves less that 30
percent of the households in the Attachment B Community.
8. Based upon the subscriber penetration level calculated by Petitioner, as reflected in
Attachment B, we find that Petitioner has demonstrated the percentage of households subscribing to its
cable service is less than 30 percent of the households in the Attachment B Community. Therefore, the
low penetration test is satisfied as to the Attachment B Community.


17 See, e.g., Petition in CSR 8572-E at 8.
18 See, e.g., Petition in CSR 8573-E at Ex. 6.
19 We reserve the right to exercise our discretion to require more disclosure in future decisions.
20 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(A).
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

III.

ORDERING CLAUSES

9. Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that the petitions for a determination of effective
competition filed in the captioned proceeding by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, on behalf of
its subsidiaries and affiliates,

ARE GRANTED

.
10.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that the certification to regulate basic cable service rates
granted to any of the Communities set forth on Attachments A and B

IS REVOKED

.
11. This action is taken pursuant to delegated authority pursuant to Section 0.283 of the
Commission's rules.21
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Steven A. Broeckaert
Senior Deputy Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau


21 47 C.F.R. 0.283.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

ATTACHMENT A

MB Docket No. 12-9, CSR 8571-E

MB Docket No. 12-10, CSR 8572-E
MB Docket No. 12-11, CSR 8573-E
MB Docket No. 12-12, CSR 8574-E

COMMUNITIES SERVED BY SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES

OF COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC


Communities

CUIDs

CPR

2010 Census

Estimated Competing

Households

Provider Subscribers

CSR 8571-E

Golf
IL1089
37.18
156
58

CSR 8572-E

Lisle
IL0538
22.76
9,304
2,118
Saint Charles
IL1053
18.76
18,101
3,395
Wheaton
IL1050
17.86
19,191
3,428

CSR 8573-E

Lake Bluff
IL1387
28.27
2,055
581
Mettawa
IL1827
47.52
202
96

CSR 8574-E

Clarendon Hills
IL1132
31.74
3,132
994
Downers Grove
IL0402
23.76
19,187
4,559
Elmhurst
IL0395
32.81
15,765
5,173
Evanston
IL0601
18.75
30,047
5,634
Forest Park
IL0363
25.63
7,159
1,835
Hinsdale (Cook)
IL1134
30.50
5,488
1,674
IL1135
Northfield
IL1360
27.99
2,190
613
Oak Park
IL0311
23.67
22,670
5,366
River Forest
IL0456
27.85
3,961
1,103
Westmont
IL0904
27.66
10,357
2,865
Willowbrook
IL1142
25.40
4,032
1,024
Wilmette
IL0423
23.66
9,742
2,305
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1467

ATTACHMENT B

MB Docket No. 12-10

,

CSR 8572-E

COMMUNITY SERVED BY SUBSIDIARY OR AFFILIATE


OF COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

Franchise Area

Cable

Penetration

Community

CUID

Households

Subscribers

Percentage

Elgin
Il1301
33,084
3,691
11.16
6

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.