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Cable Television FAQ's

Q. My cable bill keeps increasing. How are cable rates regulated?

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 passed by the U. S. Congress, deregulated the cable industry with the intent of encouraging competition in the cable, telephone and internet arenas. As a result, all cable services, except basic cable, are exempt from regulation. Franchising Authorities review any basic rate increases, but that review only serves to verify the information submitted to the federal government to substantiate the increase.

Q.  What is public access television and how do I get involved?

Rhode Island PBS has a very active public access television programming component with programs airing on PATV 18 and some on the statewide interconnect, channels 13, 14 and 15. To find out more, visit the public access web site.

Full Channel TV, Inc also has a very active public access effort in the Bristol, Barrington and Warren area. They can be contacted at 247-1250.

Q.  If I have a problem with my Cable TV whom do I call?

For Cox Communications call (401) 383-2000, Full Channel at (401) 247-1250 and Verizon (888) 553-1555. If you cannot resolve your problem, you can call the Cable Section of the Division of Public Utilities (DPUC) at (401) 780-2124. Ask for Ken McCarthy, ore-mail him.

Q. What is my service area?

The State is divided into nine service areas as outlined on this map.

Q.  If I need new service, my service transferred to a different location or my service disconnected whom do I call?

Cox customers can contact the company at (401) 383-2000. Full Channel customers may dial (401) 247-1250. Verizon can be reached at (888) 553-1555. The companies will make arrangements to schedule a service call. Be sure to verify if there will be any charges for this service. Any problems, call the DPUC at (401) 780-2124.

Q.  If I want cable service extended to an area currently not served, what do I do?

The Cable Rules of the State of Rhode Island provide for a line extension policy to potentially serve areas of the State where fiber optic cable lines currently do not exist. Generally, if an area has 15 homes per quarter mile, cable service will be provided. (link to applicable section of Cable Rules) If, however, your area does not meet that threshold, service can only be extended through a cost sharing program between the cable company and the residents to be served.

Q.  My equipment and/or picture and audio quality are not performing. What do I do?

The first action you should take is to make sure all wires are connected properly to receive the cable signal. If the problem continues you will need to schedule a service call with your cable provider.

Q.  I want a station not currently provided in my cable channel lineup, what do I do?

The cable channel lineup is solely determined by the cable operator based on their perception of what is most advantageous for consumer interest as a whole. No governmental agency can dictate what stations should be carried except for commercial broadcast stations within a 50 mile radius of the head-end facility of the cable company. You are free to contact the cable company and request that they carry your station of choice, but they need not comply.

Q. What is the Rhode Island interconnect and how do I get a program broadcast?

The Rhode Island interconnect is the three statewide stations, which broadcast public, government, religious and educational programming of a statewide interest. Originally established to be operated by a committee of all the cable companies in Rhode Island, it is currently operated by Rhode Island PBS, as well as Full Channel TV. Contact Elizabeth Dias of Rhode Island PBS for more information at (401) 222-3636 (x.342).

 


RI Public Utilities Commission, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI 02888
Voice: 401-941-4500 • Email: thomas.kogut@dpuc.ri.gov

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