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Tips for Getting Discount Cable TV

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The term Cable Television Act may refer to a handful of government regulations passed over the years. Each of these acts serves to improve standardization of cable TV broadcasting and safeguard the rights of cable subscribers. Learn about cable television act policies and how they affect you.

The Communications Act of 1984

Much of the policies and regulations currently held in practice for the cable industry were created via the Communications Act of 1984. This act largely replaced the previous Communications Act, which was drawn up in 1934. The amended Cable Act sought to create universal policies that relate to the distribution of cable. Specifics topics of the Act include:

  • Ownership of content
  • Channel usage
  • Franchise provisions and renewals
  • Subscriber rates
  • Obscene programming

Just as important, the Act served to draw boundaries for how federal, state and local governments may regulate cable broadcasting. Due to these boundaries, access of certain cable programming may vary from one state or local government to another. It is for this reason that some cable channels may not be available in certain regions.

The Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992

In the early 1990s, subscriptions to cable television grew dramatically. At the time, lack of competition among cable companies led to inflated pricing – a fact that resulted in safeguards as laid forth by the Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. These safeguards pertain to how cable is distributed among markets and seeks largely to minimize the potential for monopoly pricing in geographical regions. Additional consumer safeties were also extended to reduce the potential for unfair business practices.

Through the 1992 Cable Act, local or state authorities have the power to select a cable franchisee that services a particular area.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

The last major cable television act passed by Congress was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This Act further de-regulated cable provider regulations to spur additional competition and allow for easier dispersal of telecommunications to Americans. The ultimate result of this act was the opening of all cable markets to healthy competition. Thanks to this act, television customers are now guaranteed television programming options to minimize the potential for price inflation.

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