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Sun County Cable TV Inc. Small System Filing to Support Cable Programming Service Price

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Released: January 19, 1996


Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C.




DA 95-2454



In the Matter of


)





)

Sun Country Cable TV Inc. )
CUID No. CA 0786 (Unincorporated Groveland)



)

Small System Filing to Support
)
Cable Programming Service Price
)


Memorandum Opinion and Order




Adopted: December 11, 1995


Released: January 19, 1996

By the Chief, Cable Services Bureau:


1. Here we consider complaints about the price that Sun Country Cable TV Inc. ("Sun
Country") was charging for its cable programming service ("CPS") rate in its Groveland, CA
franchise area. On October 27, 1995, Sun Country filed FCC Form 1230 seeking to justify its
rate through the simplified small system cost of service procedures under the Commission's
Small System Order.1 In this Order we grant Sun Country's request for small system relief under
the Small System Order and deny the pending CPS complaints.


2. Under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992,2 and
our rules implementing it, 47 C.F.R. Part 76, Subpart N, the Commission must review a cable
operator's rates for its CPS tier upon the filing of a valid complaint. The filing of a valid
complaint triggers an obligation on behalf of the cable operator to file a justification of its CPS

1 Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, MM Docket Nos. 92-266 &
93-215, 10 FCC Rcd 7393 (1995)("Small System Order").
2 Pub. L. No. 102-385, 106 Stat. 1460 (1992); 47 U.S.C. §§ 534, 534(i)("1992 Cable Act").
The 1992 Cable Act, amends Part 6 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 521 et
seq.



rates.3 Under our rules, an operator may attempt to justify its rates through a benchmark
showing, a cost-of-service showing, or a small system cost of service showing.4 In any case, the
operator has the burden of demonstrating that its CPS rates are not unreasonable.5


3. The Commission's original rate regulations took effect on September 1, 1993.6 The
Commission subsequently revised its rate regulations effective May 15, 1994.7 In a further effort
to offer small cable companies administrative relief from rate regulation, the Commission
amended the definition of small cable companies and small systems and introduced a simplified
form of small system rate relief in the Small System Order. Cable systems serving 15,000 or
fewer subscribers, and owned by a company having 400,000 or fewer subscribers, may elect to
use the new small cable system rate mechanism in lieu of other Commission rate processes,
provided the Commission has not reached a final resolution on the rate complaint[s] filed against
the system. Operators attempting to justify their rates through small system relief must file FCC
Form 1230. If the maximum rate established on Form 1230 does not exceed $1.24 per channel,
the rate shall be presumed reasonable.8


4. We find that Sun Country is a company with fewer than 400,000 total subscribers and
that the system in question serves fewer than 15,000 subscribers, making it eligible for small
system relief. Sun Country's CPS rate is less than $1.24 per channel and, therefore, is presumed
reasonable.9 There is nothing in the pleading that refutes this presumption, therefore, we find the
rate to be not unreasonable.

3 47 C.F.R. § 76.956.
4 47 C.F.R. § 76.956(b) and § 76.934(h).
5 Id.
6 Implementation of Sections of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act
of 1992: Rate Regulation Order, MM Docket No. 92-266, 58 Fed. Reg. 41042 (Aug. 2, 1993).
7 See Implementation of Sections of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition
Act of 1992, MM Docket No. 92-266, Second Order on Reconsideration Fourth Report and Order
and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 9 FCC Rcd 4119 ("Second Order on Reconsideration");
47 C.F.R. § 76.922(b).
8 See Small System Order 10 FCC Rcd at 7428.
9 This finding is based solely on the representations of the operator. Should information come to
our attention that these representations were materially inaccurate, we reserve the right to take
appropriate action. This Order is not to be construed as a finding that we have accepted as correct
any specific entry, explanation or argument made by any party to this proceeding not specifically
addressed herein.




2




5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 0.321 of the Commission's Rules,
47 C.F.R. § 0.321, that Sun Country's request for small system relief is GRANTED.


6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the CPS rate charged by Sun Country with respect
to the above-referenced CUID number, IS JUSTIFIED.




7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the complaints against the CPS rate charged by Sun
Country, with respect to the above-referenced CUID number, ARE DENIED.








FEDERAL
COMMUNICATIONS
COMMISSION



Meredith
J.
Jones
Chief,
Cable
Services
Bureau






3

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