FCC Allows for Email Delivery of Video/Cable Notices

Eliminates Equipment Compatibility Notice Requirement

By Order adopted November 15, the FCC has amended its rules to permit cable operators to provide required “written” customer notices by email if certain conditions are met. Companies have been allowed to email general service offerings information to new and existing cable customers since August 1, 2017, if the messages are sent to verified email addresses and there is an opt-out mechanism to receive paper notices. The FCC has now extended the same email delivery option to all required customer notices.

In addition, the outdated requirement to include equipment compatibility information to new subscribers and to all annually has been eliminated altogether.

A “verified” email address may be:

  • one that the customer has provided to the cable operator (not vice versa) for purposes of receiving communication;
  • one that the customer regularly uses to communicate with the cable operator; or
  • one that has been confirmed by the customer as an appropriate vehicle for delivery of notices.

The cable operators’ email to customers must clearly present a phone number to opt out of email delivery and instead receive paper notices. Additional opt-out methods, such as an electronic link, may be offered, but the opt-out phone number is a minimum requirement.

As well, cable operator responses to written customer requests for identification of must-carry broadcast signals and responses to billing complaints may be sent by email if the customer emailed the request or complaint, or specifies email as the preferred delivery method in their request or complaint.

The effective date of these new options for email delivery is pending Federal Register publication; JSI will notify clients of the effective date when announced.

If you have any questions about cable customer notice requirements, contact Marty Kluh in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590.