The FCC Enforcement Bureau has notified Oceanic Time Warner Cable of an apparent liability for a forfeiture of $7500 for failing to provide 30 days notice that it was migrating certain channels to switched digital video. Last fall, complaints emerged that the Time Warner Cable subsidiary had moved several channels to SDV, thus requiring CableCARD users to get set-tops to continue to receive the nets. Time Warner told the FCC that it doesn’t have to notify the LFA of the change because it does not involve a change in rates or service packages. It said it even offered subs with CableCARDs an opportunity to lease interactive set-tops for 2 years at the same monthly charge as a CableCARD. However, the Enforcement Bureau ruled that migrating channels previously accessible via CableCARD does constitute a change in service for those customers. "If we followed TWC’s construction of the rules to its logical conclusion, cable operators could, with nothing more than an annual equipment notice, move all their channels to such platforms without further notice to customers and local governing bodies, and thereby render CableCARDs entirely useless," the Bureau said. "Such an interpretation defies both precedent and common sense." The operator has 30 days to pay the fine or file a statement explaining why it should be canceled or reduced.

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