[mythtv-users] Cable Programmers versus the FCC

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Wed Sep 17 15:46:08 UTC 2008

Brian Wood wrote:
> R. G. Newbury wrote:
>> And yup, the last paragraph is unfortunately where we are. I do hope 
>> Brian, that you at least told the cableco employee that if that was what 
>> his boss had told him, his boss had told him something wrong...And 
>> referred him to the Consolidated Federal Regs. ...At least it cannot 
>> hurt if some employee makes a supervisor actually look at the law or ask 
>> about the law. (Because then there might be a 'smoking gun' e-mail 
>> floating around which could, one day, be useful.)
> I sent him out of my house with a printed copy of the pertinent
> regulation, he was shaking his head as he walked to his truck.
> Interestingly, over 30 years ago I was the Chief Engineer of this same
> cable system (though that was 4 or 5 owners and a LOT of changes ago). I
> recall one day when an installer called me on the radio and told me I
> had better get out to a job he was working on.
> When I got there the customer had a Tektronix 7L12 Spectrum Analyzer
> hooked up to our system, and I noticed a set of the printed FCC
> regulations on his bookshelf.
> I did the best thing I could think of to do under the circumstances: I
> hired him (and thanked the installer) :-)

Good move!

>> Because I can foresee a doozy class action some day against a Comcast or 
>> whoever, based upon that sort of false representation about what the law 
>> "is".
> I'm sure they would say field technician is not authorized to speak for
> the company, but I would claim he was their legal representative.

I'm not thinking that it will be field techs' statements (although they 
will make them), but the advertising and 'help line' staff. And that is 
where an e-mail disclosing that the company *knew* that what they were 
saying was misleading, will kill them. Because you *know* that the help 
line staff will be told to say that the FCC has mandated the switch 
*including the "up-grade" to a "higher" level service* (which happens to 
be entirely encrypted).

Even know, Rogers Cable in Toronto *will not* confirm in writing, 
*anything* they say about cable TV costs, bundling with cell service, 
internet service by cable or "Wimax" or HDTV services. I cannot even 
determine if the cable box *has* a digital output (firewire/component).

> No matter what happens, somehow some way, we will wind up paying more
> and getting less.

To quote one of Lily Tomlin's lines "And that's the truth!"


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