Boston may regain power to regulate cable rates because anticipated competition didn’t materialize, the Federal Communications Commission said in an order that the city’s biggest provider Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US) can block.
The agency reversed its 2001 decision freeing cable service from rate regulation in Boston. Today’s action responded to Boston’s filing in May arguing that cable provider RCN Corp. wasn’t expanding, leaving most residents without a competing service, the FCC said in its order released by e-mail today.
Comcast may ask the agency to consider competition from satellite-television providers such as DirecTV (DTV:US) and Dish Network Corp. (DISH:US), and Boston won’t be able to resume rate regulation while the FCC considers that argument, according to the order.
“We plan to refile as soon as possible,” Sena Fitzmaurice, a Washington-based spokeswoman for Comcast, said in a statement. Philadelphia-based Comcast expects to demonstrate sufficient competition to meet the FCC’s threshold for lifting rate regulation, she said.
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