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Cable Companies Can Now Use Live Streaming Services As Effective Competition in Some Regulated Markets

Jason Gurwin

Earlier this month, we reported that the FCC was about to vote on whether Live TV Streaming Services were considered “effective competition” to companies like Charter and Comcast. Today, the FCC granted Charter Communications’ Petition that services like AT&T TV NOW are considered effective competition “in certain franchise areas in Hawaii and Massachusetts where Charter is currently subject to rate regulation.”

Earlier this month, Pai stated, “Charter has asked the Commission to find that it is subject to effective competition in the Hawaii and Massachusetts communities that it serves. Specifically, it points to the over-the-top streaming service offered throughout the country by AT&T, which provides video programming bundles comparable to those provided by cable operators,” the blog post read.

Previously, The Communications Act would allow the government to regulate basic cable rates in markets where cable systems didn’t have competition. The FCC’s ruling does not blindly apply this across markets, as it only states that “local franchise authorities in Kauai, Hawaii and 32 communities in Massachusetts may not regulate basic-tier cable rates.”

However, this could lead to other cable companies using the ruling to apply it in other markets where they face regulated cable rates.

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