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Title 47

Displaying title 47, up to date as of 9/15/2021. Title 47 was last amended 9/14/2021.

Title 47

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§ 76.630 Compatibility with consumer electronics equipment.

(a) Cable system operators shall not scramble or otherwise encrypt signals delivered to a subscriber on the basic service tier.

(1) This prohibition shall not apply in systems in which:

(i) No encrypted signals are carried using the NTSC system; and

(ii) The cable system operator offers to its existing subscribers who subscribe only to the basic service tier without use of a set-top box or CableCARD at the time of encryption the equipment necessary to descramble or decrypt the basic service tier signals (the subscriber's choice of a set-top box or CableCARD) on up to two television sets without charge or service fee for two years from the date encryption of the basic service tier commences; and

(iii) The cable system operator offers to its existing subscribers who subscribe to a level of service above “basic only” but use a digital television or other device with a clear-QAM tuner to receive only the basic service tier without use of a set-top box or CableCARD at the time of encryption, the equipment necessary to descramble or decrypt the basic service tier signals (the subscriber's choice of a set-top box or CableCARD) on one television set without charge or service fee for one year from the date encryption of the basic service tier commences; and

(iv) The cable system operator offers to its existing subscribers who receive Medicaid and also subscribe only to the basic service tier without use of a set-top box or CableCARD at the time of encryption the equipment necessary to descramble or decrypt the basic service tier signals (the subscriber's choice of a set-top box or CableCARD) on up to two television sets without charge or service fee for five years from the date encryption of the basic service tier commences;

(v) The cable system operator notifies its existing subscribers of the availability of the offers described in paragraphs (ii) through (iv) of this section at least 30 days prior to the date encryption of the basic service tier commences and makes the offers available for at least 30 days prior to and 120 days after the date encryption of the basic service tier commences. The notification to subscribers must state:

On (DATE), (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR) will start encrypting (INSERT NAME OF CABLE BASIC SERVICE TIER OFFERING) on your cable system. If you have a set-top box, digital transport adapter (DTA), or a retail CableCARD device connected to each of your TVs, you will be unaffected by this change. However, if you are currently receiving (INSERT NAME OF CABLE BASIC SERVICE TIER OFFERING) on any TV without equipment supplied by (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR), you will lose the ability to view any channels on that TV.

If you are affected, you should contact (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR) to arrange for the equipment you need to continue receiving your services. In such case, you are entitled to receive equipment at no additional charge or service fee for a limited period of time. The number and type of devices you are entitled to receive and for how long will vary depending on your situation. If you are a (INSERT NAME OF CABLE BASIC SERVICE TIER OFFERING) customer and receive the service on your TV without (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR)-supplied equipment, you are entitled to up to two devices for two years (five years if you also receive Medicaid). If you subscribe to a higher level of service and receive (INSERT NAME OF CABLE BASIC SERVICE TIER OFFERING) on a secondary TV without (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR)-supplied equipment, you are entitled to one device for one year.

You can learn more about this equipment offer and eligibility at (WEBPAGE ADDRESS) or by calling (PHONE NUMBER). To qualify for any equipment at no additional charge or service fee, you must request the equipment between (DATE THAT IS 30 DAYS BEFORE ENCRYPTION) and (DATE THAT IS 120 DAYS AFTER ENCRYPTION) and satisfy all other eligibility requirements.

(vi) The cable system operator notifies its subscribers who have received equipment described in paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) through (iv) of this section at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, before the end of the free device transitional period that the transitional period will end. This notification must state:

You currently receive equipment necessary to descramble or decrypt the basic service tier signals (either a set-top box or CableCARD) free of charge. Effective with the (MONTH/YEAR) billing cycle, (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR) will begin charging you for the equipment you received to access (INSERT NAME OF CABLE BASIC SERVICE TIER OFFERING) when (NAME OF CABLE OPERATOR) started encrypting those channels on your cable system. The monthly charge for the (TYPE OF DEVICE) will be (AMOUNT OF CHARGE).

(2) Requests for waivers of this prohibition must demonstrate either a substantial problem with theft of basic tier service or a strong need to scramble basic signals for other reasons. As part of this showing, cable operators are required to notify subscribers by mail of waiver requests. The notice to subscribers must be mailed no later than 30 calendar days from the date the request for waiver was filed with the Commission, and cable operators must inform the Commission in writing, as soon as possible, of that notification date. The notification to subscribers must state:

On (date of waiver request was filed with the Commission), (cable operator's name) filed with the Federal Communications Commission a request for waiver of the rule prohibiting scrambling of channels on the basic tier of service. 47 CFR 76.630(a). The request for waiver states (a brief summary of the waiver request). A copy of the request for waiver shall be available for public inspection at www.fcc.gov.

Individuals who wish to comment on this request for waiver should mail comments to the Federal Communications Commission by no later than 30 days from (the date the notification was mailed to subscribers). Those comments should be addressed to the: Federal Communications Commission, Media Bureau, Washington, DC 20554, and should include the name of the cable operator to whom the comments are applicable. Individuals should also send a copy of their comments to (the cable operator at its local place of business).

Cable operators may file comments in reply no later than 7 days from the date subscriber comments must be filed.

(b) Cable system operators that provide their subscribers with cable system terminal devices and other customer premises equipment that incorporates remote control capability shall permit the remote operation of such devices with commercially available remote control units or otherwise take no action that would prevent the devices from being operated by a commercially available remote control unit. Cable system operators are advised that this requirement obliges them to actively enable the remote control functions of customer premises equipment where those functions do not operate without a special activation procedure. Cable system operators may, however, disable the remote control functions of a subscriber's customer premises equipment where requested by the subscriber.

[59 FR 25342, May 16, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 18510, Apr. 26, 1996; 65 FR 53616, Sept. 5, 2000; 67 FR 1650, Jan. 14, 2002; 67 FR 13235, Mar. 21, 2002; 77 FR 67301, Dec. 10, 2012; 81 FR 10125, Feb. 29, 2016; 83 FR 66157, Dec. 26, 2018]