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Media Bureau Seeks Comment on a Cable Subscribership Survey for the Collection of Information Pursuant to Section 612(g) of the Communications Act

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Released: December 31, 1969

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 09-44

Released: January 16, 2009

Media Bureau Seeks Comment on a Cable Subscribership Survey for the Collection of

Information Pursuant to Section 612(g) of the Communications Act

MB Docket No. 07-269

Comment deadline: February 17, 2009
Reply comment deadline: March 14, 2009

1.
As part of its 13th Annual Report to Congress on the status of competition in the market
for the delivery of video programming, the Commission decided to require each cable operator to submit
information necessary to determine whether the so-called "70/70 test" set forth in section 612(g) of the
Communications Act, as amended, has been met.1 By this Public Notice, we seek comment on the
attached Cable Subscriber Survey form that we propose to use for this purpose.2
2.
Section 612(g) of the Act states that: (1) "at such time as cable systems with 36 or more
activated channels are available to 70 percent of households within the United States" and (2) "are
subscribed to by 70 percent of the households to which such systems are available, the Commission may
promulgate any additional rules necessary to provide diversity of information sources."3
3.
In the 13th Annual Report, the Commission noted that there is no disagreement that the
first prong of the 70/70 test has been met.4 However, the Commission found that alternative estimates


1 See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video
Programming
, Thirteenth Annual Report, MB Docket Nos. 06-189, FCC 07-206 (rel. Jan. 16, 2009) at
43 ("13th Annual Report").
2 This information collection must be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") for
review under Section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 ("PRA"), Public Law 104-13 44;
U.S.C. 3507(d). The OMB process requires the Commission to first publish a notice in the Federal
Register notifying the public of its intent to conduct this survey. The public will have 60 days to
comment on this Federal Register notice. At the end of that comment period, the Commission will submit
the survey questionnaire to OMB for review along with a Paperwork Reduction Act Submission (OMB
Form 83-I) and a Supporting Statement that provides a justification for the information collection and an
explanation of the reporting burdens it will impose.
3 47 U.S.C. 532(g). This provision was added to the Communications Act by the Cable
Communications Policy Act of 1984 ("1984 Cable Act"), Pub. L. No. 98-549, 98 Stat. 2779.
4 See 13th Annual Report at 34.

yielded different conclusions about whether the second prong of the test had been met, i.e., whether 70
percent of the households passed by cable systems with 36 or more channels subscribe to these systems.5
Specifically, the Commission found that based on data from Warren Communications News, the second
prong of the 70/70 test has been met. Data from other sources, however, did not demonstrate that the
second prong has been met.
4.
As a result, the Commission found that the only way to accurately conclude that the
70/70 test has been met is to have the cable industry provide the relevant data directly to the
Commission.6 The Commission stated that each cable operator must submit the following information,
on a zip code basis, for each of its systems within 60 days.7 This information must be filed for years 2006
and 2007.8
1. Total number of homes the cable operator currently passes;
2. Total number of homes the cable operator currently passes with 36 or more activated
channels;
3. Total number of actual subscribers, including all subscribers in MDUs; and
4. Total number of subscribers with 36 or more activated channels.9

Procedural Matters:


a.

Ex Parte Rules

5.
This proceeding will be treated as a "permit-but-disclose" proceeding subject to the
"permit-but-disclose" requirements under section 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.10 Ex parte
presentations are permissible if disclosed in accordance with Commission rules, except during the
Sunshine Agenda period when presentations, ex parte or otherwise, are generally prohibited. Persons
making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that a memorandum summarizing a presentation must
contain a summary of the substance of the presentation and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed.
More than a one- or two-sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally
required.11 Additional rules pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in section 1.1206(b).


5 Id. at 35-42.
6 Id. at 43.
7 The required information must be filed within 60 days after OMB approves the information collection
and survey form. We will announce the filing deadline in a subsequent Public Notice.
8 Any false certification made to the Commission may be punished by fine and/or imprisonment under 18
U.S.C. 1001. We also emphasize that any false information provided to the Commission pursuant to the
requirements set forth above may be similarly punished under 18 U.S.C. 1621. A cable operator may
certify to the Commission that it does not possess such information for calendar year 2006 and that it is
not possible for the operator to compile such data for calendar year 2006.
9 13th Annual Report at 43.
10 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b); see also 47 C.F.R. 1.1202, 1.1203.
11 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b)(2).
2

b.

Filing Requirements

6.
Comments and Replies. Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules,
interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first
page of this document. 12 Comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment
Filing System ("ECFS"), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper
copies.13
7.
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing
the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. For ECFS filers,
if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit
one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In
completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing
address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment
by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and include
the following words in the body of the message, "get form." A sample form and directions will be sent in
response.
8.
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of
each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be
sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S.
Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).
All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission. The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-
delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Suite 110,
Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering
the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail)
must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class,
Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.
9.
Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will
be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These
documents will also be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word
97, and/or Adobe Acrobat.
10.
Accessibility Information. To request information in accessible formats (computer
diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC's
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This
document can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov.


12 See 47 C.F.R. 1.415, 1419.
13 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 13 FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
3

11.
Contact Information. For additional information, contact Marcia Glauberman or Dana
Scherer, (202) 418-2330, Media Bureau, Industry Analysis Division. Press inquiries should be directed to
Mary Diamond, (202) 418-2388. TTY: (202) 418-0432 or (888) 835-5322.
By the Chief, Media Bureau

--FCC--

4

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20554

CABLE SUBSCRIBERSHIP SURVEY

FCC Form XXX

Please provide the following information for each cable system you operate. A separate form is required
for each "physical system identifier" ("PSID") assigned to you. Complete one form each for 2006 and
2007. You are required to fill out the form showing information about the cable system on a typical day
in the last full week of December of the filing year. See the form instructions for further details and
definitions.
1.

PSID #:

_________________
2.

Indicate filing year

2006
o
2007
o
3.

Does this system have 36 or more activated channels?

Yes

o

No

o
4.

Is this an IPTV-based system?

Yes

o

No

o
5.

For the cable system identified by PSID above, please provide

a. Number of homes passed
________________
Select calculation method (check all that apply)
o Company/System engineering database
o Data from State or Local Governments
o Company/System billing database
o System ride-out/walk-out or system map
o Other Company database (specify next to
o Data provided by previous owner
"other")
o Data from commercial sources (specify next to
o Data from the U.S. Census Bureau or other
"other")
Federal Government source
o Other (Specify) ______________________
i. Number of unoccupied/seasonal homes _______________
Select calculation method (check all that apply)
o Company/System engineering database
o Data from State or Local Governments
o Company/System billing database
o System ride-out/walk-out or system map
o Other Company database (specify next to
o Data provided by previous owner
"other")
o Data from commercial sources (specify next to
o Data from the U.S. Census Bureau or other
"other")
Federal Government source
o Other (Specify) ______________________
5

ii. Number of homes passed plus unoccupied/seasonal homes _________________
Select calculation method (check all that apply)
o Company/System engineering database
o Data from State or Local Governments
o Company/System billing database
o System ride-out/walk-out or system map
o Other Company database (specify next to
o Data provided by previous owner
"other")
o Data from commercial sources (specify next to
o Data from the U.S. Census Bureau or other
"other")
Federal Government source
o Other (Specify) ______________________
b. Number of total subscribers________________
(Be sure to count individual homes that receive service even if the service is provided
under a bulk rate.)
c. Number of video subscribers
________________
(Be sure to count individual homes that receive service even if the service is provided
under a bulk rate.)
6.

For INCUMBENTS: For each Zip Code served by the PSID above, please provide the

following information:
a. Zip
b. Homes
c. Total subscribers
d. Number of video

Code

passed by the
to the system
subscribers to the system
system
7.

For OVERBUILDERS: For each Zip Code served by the PSID above, please provide the

following information:
a. Zip
b. Homes that c. Total subscribers
d. Number of video

Code

do NOT have
to the system
subscribers to the system
access to
another cable
operator's
service
6

8.

Certification

I certify that I have examined this data, and that all statements of fact contained herein are true, complete
and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, and are made in good faith. I understand
that any false certification made to the Commission may be punished by fine and/or imprisonment under
18 U.S.C. 1001 and/or 18 U.S.C. 1621.

Full Name

Title

E-mail Address

Signature

Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Telephone No.

( )

FCC NOTICE REQUIRED BY THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT

We have estimated that each response to this collection of information will take an average of 2 hours per
response. Our estimate includes the time to read the instructions, look through existing records, gather
and maintain the required data, and actually complete and review the form or response. If you have any
comments on this burden estimate, or how we can improve the collection and reduce the burden it causes
you, please write the Federal Communications Commission, AMD-PERM, Paperwork Reduction Act
Project (3060-xxxx), Washington, DC, 20554. We will also accept your comments via the Internet if you
send them to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.
Remember, under 5 C.F.R. 1320, you are not required to respond to a collection of information
sponsored by the Federal government, and the government may not conduct or sponsor this collection,
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number with this notice. This collection has been
assigned OMB control number 3060-XXX.

THE FOREGOING NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF
1995, PUBLIC LAW 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3507.

7

Form xxxx Instructions

For each PSID (physical system identifier), please provide the following information:

1. PSID # The six-digit number assigned by the Commission to each headend.
2. Filing year Indicate which filing year the submitted data represents. Complete one form each for
2006 and 2007. You are required to fill out the form showing information about the cable system on a
typical day in the last full week of December of the filing year.
3. Activated channels Please indicate (yes or no) whether the system has 36 or more activated
channels. An activated channel is defined as a 6 MHz channel that is engineered at the headend of a cable
system to provide services generally available to residential subscribers of the cable system, regardless of
whether such services actually are provided.
4. IPTV Please indicate (yes or no) whether the system is an IPTV based system. An IPTV based
system is defined as video and ancillary services such as audio/text/data delivered over the Internet
Protocol and offered as multiple channels of linear and/or non-linear (e.g., video-on-demand)
programming of broadcast quality designed to be viewed on a television.
5. For the area served by the system identified by the PSID above please indicate:
a. Number of homes passed The number of homes passed within the PSID is defined with
reference to the term "household" as used in Section 612(g) of the Communications Act of 1934
(47 U.S.C. 532(g)) and should be calculated as the total number of occupied housing units that
have access to the cable plant. A housing unit is occupied if a person or group of persons is
living in it, i.e., they consider it their usual place of residence or have no usual place of residence
elsewhere. The number of homes passed should not include unoccupied homes or dwellings that
are used solely for seasonal, occasional, or recreational use, see C.F.R. 76.905(c), nor should it
include buildings or portions of buildings used for commercial purposes (such as hotels, bars,
restaurants, and office buildings).
Select calculation method Please check all boxes that describe the method(s) used to calculate this
result. For "other company database," identify the type of database in the space provided by "other." For
"data from commercial sources," identify the source in the space provided by "other." For "other"
provide a written description of the calculation method used. If company records and system maps do not
contain sufficient information to respond to questions 5.a, 5.a.i, and 5.a.ii, as requested, the cable operator
should update or supplement company records with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, other
Federal, State, or Local governmental agencies, commercial sources, or, where feasible, through a system
ride-out/walk-out. Cable operators may provide good faith estimates based on the best available
information and may rely on studies done for other purposes such as marketing and business plan
information, demographic data, etc. or may conduct limited special studies to obtain the requested
information. In particular, these sources may be used to determine unoccupied homes, dwellings that are
used solely for seasonal, occasional, or recreational use, or buildings used for commercial purposes where
company data do not include such information.
a.i. Number of unoccupied/seasonal homes The total number of housing units that are
unoccupied or used for seasonal, occasional, or recreational use. Do not include buildings or
portions of buildings used for commercial purposes (such as hotels, bars, restaurants, and office
buildings).
Select calculation method See instructions above.
8

a.ii. Number of homes passed plus unoccupied/seasonal homes The total number of housing
units passed within the PSID, whether or not they are occupied or used for seasonal, occasional,
or recreational use. Do not include buildings or portions of buildings used for commercial
purposes (such as hotels, bars, restaurants, and office buildings).
Select calculation method See instructions above.
b. Number of total subscribers The total number of subscribers within the PSID who have
access to the cable plant and receive any type of service. Calculate the number of subscribers as
follows: (1) number of occupied housing units that subscribe to any service, plus (2) the number
of customers with courtesy and free basic cable service. For subscribers in MDUs (apartments,
condominiums, mobile home parks, etc.), count the total number of occupied housing units that
receive service even if the MDU pays the system a bulk rate for video service. Do not include
subscribers in housing units that are used for seasonal, occasional, or recreational use. Do not
include commercial subscribers (such as hotels, bars, restaurants, and office buildings).
c. Number of video subscribers The number of subscribers, as defined above, who purchase
video service (i.e., basic tier cable service). Include all such subscribers, including those who
purchase additional services.
6. Incumbents: An "incumbent" is a cable operator that provided service before any other cable operator
(i.e., an "overbuilder" as defined in 7 below) entered the market.
For each zip code within the incumbent's system's service area (including those zip codes only
partially served), please provide the following information.
a. Zip Code The 5-digit U.S. Postal Service zip code.
b. Homes Passed The number of homes passed, as defined above, by the system within the zip
code.
c. Number of total subscribers The total number of subscribers, as defined above, to the system
within the zip code.
d. Number of video subscribers The number of video subscribers, as defined above, to the
system within the zip code.
7. Overbuilders A system is considered an "overbuilder" if, when the system first offered service to a
potential subscriber, that potential subscriber had previously been offered service by any other cable
system or systems (regardless of whether the household subscribed) and the pre-existing system(s)
continues to offer service to that potential subscriber.
For each zip code within the overbuilder's system's service area (including those zip codes only
partially served), please provide the following information.
a. Zip Code The 5-digit U.S. Postal Service zip code.
b. Homes passed by the system that do NOT have access to an incumbent cable operator's
service
The number of homes passed, as defined above, by the overbuilder within the zip code, if
any
, that are not also passed by the incumbent cable operator.
9

c. Number of total subscribers The total number of subscribers, as defined above, to the system
within the zip code.
d. Number of video subscribers The number of video subscribers, as defined above, to the
system within the zip code.
8. Certification Certification of this data is required. The form shall be certified by the individual
owning the reporting cable system, if the system is individually owned; by a partner, if the system is a
partnership; by an officer of the corporation, if the system is incorporated; or by a representative holding
power-or-attorney in case the owner has a physical disability or an individual owner is absent from the
United States. Any false certification made to the Commission may be punished by fine and/or
imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 1001 and/or 18 U.S.C. 1621.

Additional Information

Filing Information:

This form must be completed for each PSID and for each of calendar years 2006 and
2007 and filed electronically with the Federal Communications Commission, Media Bureau, Washington,
DC 20554 via the COALS electronic filing system (www.fcc.gov/coals).

Due Date:

This form must be filed with the Commission by [insert date]. Failure to complete form by
[insert date] may subject the operator to monetary forfeiture pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

Confidentiality:

The Commission will not publicly release any data provided in response to this survey
except aggregated (non-company specific) data, or data that are provided at the PSID level, as these data
are otherwise publicly available (responses to survey questions 1 through 5). No other company-specific
information will be released to the public. Operators who wish to request that the information designated
for release be withheld from public inspection must submit the request pursuant to 47 C.F.R. 0.459 in a
letter addressed to the Secretary, attn: Media Bureau, and state the fields to which the request applies.
They also should provide, as required by the rules, a complete explanation of why such treatment is
appropriate. Pursuant to 0.459(c), casual requests will not be considered.

If You Need Help:

If there are any questions regarding this form, contact the FCC's Media Bureau staff
at (202) 418-2330 or (202) 418-7200.
10

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