Friday, August 17, 2012

FCC cracking down on MVPD operators


Zenith (Photo credit: bcostin)

FCC issues a Public Notice informing non-cable, Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD), of the rules applicable to all MVPDs, cable provider or not, with regard to notification requirements and cable leakage limits and testing. On the same day, the FCC released several citations the bureau had issued, one to a hotel operator, one to a heath care center, and another to a rehabilitation hospital. All three citations were issued out of the Los Angeles Office, western region, of the FCC enforcement Bureau and all three cover violation of exceeding signal leakage limits in the aeronautical bands.

The notice explains that, like cable system operators, non-cable MVPDs must also notify the FCC prior to the use of any aeronautical frequency bands within their systems. Additionally, non-cable MVPDs must also comply with the same requirements cable operators follow with respect to preventing and testing for signal leakage. These rules can be found in Part 76 of Title 47 C.F.R.

An MVPD is any provider that distributes multichannel video programming, traditionally for a fee, for example the cable television systems. Non-cable MVPDs are exempt from the FCC’s legal definition of a cable system, but are subject to some of the same technical rules that traditional cable systems are. Examples of non-cable MVPDs are universities, hotels, apartment complexes and other multiple-unit communities, prisons, office buildings, and other facilities with in-house systems for making multiple channels of video programming available to subscribers or consumers.

The aeronautical frequency bands range from 108 – 137 MHz and 225 – 400 MHz, which correspond to cable channels 14-16, 25-53, and 98 & 99. Notification filing with the FCC is required once a year. All MVPDs must monitor for and repair signal leaks.

Fines for violators can range up to $37,500 per violation, per day of continued violation. It costs $60 to file a frequency usage notification form with the FCC, and no fees are assessed for filing the basic signal leakage performance report.


DA 12-1340

Citation No.: C201232900002

Citation No.: C201232900003

Citation No.: C201232900004

C.F.R. Title 47, Part 76