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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554


In the Matter of                 )    File No. EB-02-TC-035
                                )
Charter Communications           )    CUID   No.    IN0194    (New 
                                )    Albany)                
Complaint    Regarding     Cable )
Programming Services Tier  Rates )
and Refund Plan


                              ORDER


     Adopted:  May 6, 2002              Released:  May 8, 2002

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:1

     1.   In this Order we consider complaints against the  rates 
charged by the  above-referenced operator  ("Operator")2 for  its 
cable  programming  services  tier  ("CPST")  in  the   community 
referenced above.  The Cable Services Bureau previously  resolved 
complaints filed against Operator's CPST rates in effect  through 
May14, 1994 ("Prior Order").3  The  Prior Order stated that  the 
findings "do not in  any way prejudge  the reasonableness of  the 
price for  CPS service  after May  14, 1994  under our  new  rate 
regulations."4  In response to the Prior Order, Operator filed  a 
refund plan  on May  1, 1995.   This Order  addresses  Operator's 
refund plan, as  well as  the reasonableness  of Operator's  CPST 
rates in effect beginning May 15, 1994.

     2.   Under the provisions  of the  Communications Act5  that 
were in effect at the time the referenced complaints were  filed, 
the   Federal   Communications   Commission   ("Commission")   is 
authorized to review the CPST rates of cable systems not  subject 
to effective competition  to ensure  that rates  charged are  not 
unreasonable.   The  Cable  Television  Consumer  Protection  and 
Competition  Act  of  19926  ("1992  Cable  Act")  required   the 
Commission to  review  CPST rates  upon  the filing  of  a  valid 
complaint by a subscriber or local franchising authority ("LFA").  
The filing  of  a  complete  and  timely  complaint  triggers  an 
obligation upon the cable operator to file a justification of its 
CPST rates.7  The operator has  the burden of demonstrating  that 
the  CPST  rates  complained  about  are  reasonable.8   If   the 
Commission finds a  rate to be  unreasonable, it shall  determine 
the correct rate and any refund liability.9

Refund Plan

     3.   Our review  of  Operator's  refund  plan  reveals  that 
Operator improperly attempted to offset its CPST refund liability 
with  undercharges  for  equipment  used  to  receive  the  basic 
services tier ("BST").  The Commission has addressed the issue of 
inter-tier  offsets  in  Cencom.10   In  Cencom,  the  Commission 
determined that such  inter-tier offsets  are "inconsistent  with 
the Commission's conclusion in the [Implementation of Sections of 
the Cable Television Consumer  Protection and Competition Act  of 
1992, Rate Regulation,  MM Docket  92-266, Report  and Order  and 
Further Notice  of Proposed  Rulemaking11] that  cable  operators 
should not balance low BST rates with CPST rates that exceed  the 
maximum permitted rate for the  tier."12  Therefore, we will  not 
accept Operator's refund plan.

     4.   We calculate  Operator's refund  liability as  follows: 
For the period from  February 28, 1994 through  May 14, 1994,  we 
calculate an overcharge of  $0.68 per month per subscriber.   Our 
total calculation, including interest on the overcharges  through 
April 30, 2002, equals $27,390.00, excluding franchise fees.   We 
will order Operator  to refund this  amount, plus any  additional 
interest accrued to the date  of refund, plus franchise fees  and 
interest on  the  franchise fee  principal  amount, to  its  CPST 
subscribers within 60 days of the release of this Order.

CPST Rates Effective May 15, 1994

     5.   Operators must use the FCC Form 1200 series to  justify 
rates for the  period beginning May15,  1994.13 Cable  operators 
may file an  FCC Form  1210 to justify  quarterly rate  increases 
based on  the  addition  and deletion  of  channels,  changes  in 
certain  external  costs   and  inflation.14    Upon  review   of 
Operator's FCC Form 1200, we accept Operator's calculated maximum 
permitted rate ("MPR") of $10.64.  Because Operator's actual CPST 
rate of $11.55,  effective May  15, 1994 through  July 14,  1994, 
exceeds its calculated MPR of  $10.64, we find Operator's  actual 
CPST rate  of $11.55,  effective May  15, 1994  through July  14, 
1994, to be unreasonable.15  Because Operator's actual CPST  rate 
of $11.38, effective July 15, 1994 through Sep 30, 1995,  exceeds 
its calculated MPR of $10.64, we find Operator's actual CPST rate 
of $11.38, effective July  15, 1994 through Sep  30, 1995, to  be 
unreasonable.

     6.   Upon review of Operator's  FCC Form 1210, covering  the 
period  April  1,  1994  through  September  30,  1995,  we  find 
Operator's actual CPST rate of $11.38, effective October 1, 1995, 
to be reasonable. 16

Ordering Clauses

     7.   Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 0.111, 
0.311 and 76.962 of the  Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.   0.111, 
0.311 and 76.962, that Operator's refund plan IS NOT ACCEPTED.

     8.   IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED, pursuant to  Section 76.962  of 
the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.   76.962, that Operator  shall 
refund to subscribers in the franchise area referenced above  the 
total amount of $27,390.00, plus interest accruing from April 30, 
2002 to the date of refund,  plus franchise fees and interest  on 
the franchise fee principal amount, within 60 days of the release 
of this Order.

     9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 76.962 of  the 
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  76.962, that Operator shall  file 
a certificate of compliance  with the Chief, Enforcement  Bureau, 
within 90  days  of the  release  of this  Order  certifying  its 
compliance with this Order.

     10.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,  pursuant to Sections 0.111  and 
0.311 of the Commission's  rules, 47 C.F.R.   0.111 and  0.311, 
that the  CPST  rate  of  $11.55,  charged  by  Operator  in  the 
community referenced above, effective  May 15, 1994 through  July 
15, 1994, IS UNREASONABLE.

     11.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,  pursuant to Sections 0.111  and 
0.311 of the Commission's  rules, 47 C.F.R.   0.111 and  0.311, 
that the  CPST  rate  of  $11.38,  charged  by  Operator  in  the 
community referenced  above,  effective  July  15,  1994  through 
September 30, 1995, IS UNREASONABLE.

     12.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,  pursuant to Sections 0.111  and 
0.311 of the Commission's  rules, 47 C.F.R.   0.111 and  0.311, 
that the  CPST  rate  of  $11.38,  charged  by  Operator  in  the 
community  referenced  above,  effective  October  1,  1995,   IS 
REASONABLE.

     13.  IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED, pursuant to  Section 76.961  of 
the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.   76.961, that Operator  shall 
refund to  subscribers in  the  community referenced  above  that 
portion of the  amount paid  in excess of  the maximum  permitted 
CPST rate  of  $10.64  per  month  (plus  franchise  fees),  plus 
interest to the date of the refund, for the period May 15,  1994, 
through September 30, 1995.

     14.  IT IS  FURTHER  ORDERED that  Operator  shall  promptly 
determine the  overcharges to  CPST  subscribers for  the  stated 
periods, and shall within 30 days  of the release of this  Order, 
file a report  with the  Chief, Enforcement  Bureau, stating  the 
cumulative refund amount so determined (including franchise  fees 
and interest), describing the calculation thereof, and describing 
its plan to  implement the  refund within 60  days of  Commission 
approval of the plan.

     15.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,  pursuant to Sections 0.111  and 
0.311 of the Commission's  rules, 47 C.F.R.   0.111 and  0.311, 
that the complaints referenced  herein against the rates  charged 
by Operator in the community referenced above ARE GRANTED.


                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 



                              David H. Solomon
                              Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1  Effective   March  25,   2002,  the   Commission   transferred 
responsibility for resolving cable programming services tier rate 
complaints  from  the  former   Cable  Services  Bureau  to   the 
Enforcement Bureau.  See Establishment  of the Media Bureau,  the 
Wireline Competition  Bureau and  the Consumer  and  Governmental 
Affairs Bureau, Reorganization  of the  International Bureau  and 
Other Organizational Changes, FCC 02-10, 17 FCC Rcd 4672 (2002).
2  The  term  "Operator"   includes  Operator's  successors   and 
predecessors in interest.
3 See In the  Matter of Sammons  Communications, Inc., DA  95-659 
(CSB released April 4, 1995).
4 Id. at n. 1.
5 Communications  Act,  Section  623(c), as  amended,  47  U.S.C. 
543(c) (1996).
6 Pub. L. No. 102-385, 106 Stat. 1460 (1992).
7 See  Section 76.956  of  the Commission's  Rules, 47  C.F.R.   
76.956.
8 Id.
9 See  Section 76.957  of  the Commission's  Rules, 47  C.F.R.   
76.957.
10 See In the Matter of  Cencom Cable Income Partners II, LP,  12 
FCC Rcd 7948 (1997).
11  8 FCC Rcd 5631 (1993).
12  Cencom at  22 (footnote omitted).
13 See Section  76. 922 of  the Commission's Rules,  47 C.F.R.   
76.922.
14 See Section  76. 922 of  the Commission's Rules,  47 C.F.R.   
76.922.
15 Operator did not elect  to take advantage of the  Commission's 
rules which provide  for a refund  liability deferral period,  if 
timely requested by Operator, beginning  May 15, 1994 and  ending 
July 14,  1994, for  any  overcharges resulting  from  Operator's 
calculation of a new maximum permitted rate on its FCC Form 1200.  
See 47 C.F.R. Section  76.922(b)(6)(ii).  If Operator did  timely 
file such  a request  and can  provide documentation  in  support 
thereof, we will take Operator's documentation into consideration 
in our review of Operator's refund plan.
16 These  findings are  based solely  on the  representations  of 
Operator.  Should information  come to our  attention that  these 
representations were materially inaccurate, we reserve the  right 
to take appropriate action.  This Order is not to be construed as 
a finding that we  have accepted as  correct any specific  entry, 
explanation or argument made by any party to this proceeding  not 
specifically addressed herein.