Boston Mayor Pleads to FCC to Regulate Cable Rate

Posted by at 11:59 am on May 10, 2011

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has filed an emergency petition with the federal government on Monday in a plea to regulate the cost of basic cable in the city. According to Boston.com, this is the first time in 10 years that the service would be regulated in the Boston. The Mayor’s office says Comcast increased prices for its lowest cable service three times in the past three years, raising it by 60 percent in total.

A study paid for by the city found that the price is “substantially higher” than in nearby communities that have rates controlled by local governments due to a lack of competition. There is another cable provider that has a handful of subscribers, and this makes regulation unnecessary, the current FCC rules state.

Comcast’s most recent rate hike was in February, and while the average monthly bill rose by 3.2 percent, basic subscribers would see a 19 percent or $2.50 increase.

The city hired Front Range Consulting to analyze Comcast’s rates in and around Boston. The company found Comcast charged significantly more for basic cable in communities that don’t have FCC regulation. In Cambridge, for example, basic cable costs $7.30 a month whereas Boston subscribers pay $15.80 for the same service.

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