Under Delaware law, the Commission is authorized to grant cable television franchises to cable system operators who provide service in the unincorporated areas of Delaware. The Commission may terminate or revoke a franchise if the operator fails to comply with the terms of its franchise agreement. The Federal Communications Commission (https://www.fcc.gov/) revised its Commission’s rules (see link to public notice DA-15-1049A1.pdf) related to Effective Competition, including the adoption that cable operators are subject to Competing Provider Effective Competition. The FCC adopted the rule based on its conclusion that the video competition market has dramatically changed since the FCC adopted a presumption of no Effective Competition over two decades ago. As a result of the updated rules, a franchising authority (i.e. the Delaware Public Service Commission) will be prohibited from regulating basic cable rates unless it successfully demonstrates that the cable system serving the franchising authority’s community is not subject to Competing Provider Effective Competition.
The PSC does have some general regulations regarding quality of service for cable providers (seePSC Order No. 3660, entered Aug. 24, 1993, in Regulation Docket No. 31.
Although the PSC does not have regulatory authority over any tier offerings, other than what is provided in an operator’s franchise agreement regarding the provision of public access channels, an open line of communication between the three cable providers and the PSC Staff insures that the Commission is kept aware of the latest in service offerings and technologies. The close communication and the progressive regulatory stance of the Delaware Commission has been a positive factor in encouraging the best and most innovative offerings being provided in Delaware to our citizens.
Satellite providers are not regulated at the state level.
The Commission’s jurisdiction over regulated cable television franchises is limited to unincorporated areas of the state. If you reside within the municipal boundaries of a city or town and have questions about cable television services, please contact the municipality that granted the franchise to the cable utility.
A complete list of all cable related cases filed with the Commission is available on the Commission’s Regulated Utility Filings page.