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Cable TV's Basic Service Requirements?


allthumbs
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my landlord has dumbed down the Comcast package available to tenants and i now get stations which are converted to channels 2-78. fortunately, this still includes TCM.

 

however, i lost THISTV and AntennaTV (local alternate stations) along with cable's next tier which included BBCAmerica, LifetimeMovieChannel and G4 among others. what confuses me is what is cable required by law to provide as part of their basic service package?

 

it's my understanding that the basic package is to include ALL (my emphasis) local stations which can resonably be received over the air. in the old days this included the network affiliates, local independents and a PBS station which were in the local broadcast over the air "footprint" of receivable stations (about 60-75 miles.)

 

when local stations went digital, each added more programs as a separate channel to the expanded capacity of their broadcast signal, like THISTV, AntennaTV, MyNetworkTV. it seems to me these added channels were additions to the broadcast "footprint" and must be included in any basic cable package. am i wrong?

 

or is Comcast (my provider) using a loophole written into the law?

 

 

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what confuses me is what is cable required by law to provide as part of their basic service package?

 

Cynically, because I've hated cable megalomaniacal corporations since 1982, I'd say they have to provide whatever they can pay off the politicians to allow them to provide, i.e., the very least for the most money.

 

 

Factually, I have no idea.

 

 

Summarily, I bet I'm not far from the truth in my cynicism.

 

 

Good luck with Comcast. I've had none with Cablevision and FIOS.

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> {quote:title=allthumbs wrote:}{quote}

>

> it's my understanding that the basic package is to include ALL (my emphasis) local stations which can resonably be received over the air. .....am i wrong?

>

 

Cable companies operate under franchise agreements between communities and themselves. Usually, when they negotiate with that government body they agree to pay the community a yearly fee. Sometimes, a community may require certain channels, but not always. Check with your local government offices and see who handles those deals. That person should be able to tell you what the facts are.

 

In your case, it sounds like your landlord cut back to a cheaper cable package and that might be perfectly legal unless your lease says otherwise.

 

If the channels you're missing are local, you might want to consider buying good indoor antenna and then you could pick them up off the air. Your local electronic store could probably tell you what kind would work best for you. Just make sure you can return it if it doesn't work. Antennas have come a long ways since the days of "rabbit ears". Good luck.

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