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A Tangled Way to Cut Cable Costs

March 26, 1993|JUBE SHIVER JR.

WASHINGTON — Just months after Congress ordered the Federal Communications Commission to enact rules to cut the rising cost of cable TV, the FCC says it can't do the job unless it raises cable rates.

That's right. The FCC wants the nation's 55 million cable subscribers to pay the agency $16.1 million for more staff in order to try to lower cable bills. The request drew outrage on Capitol Hill even though it would mean just 31 cents extra per subscriber per year.

Interim FCC Chairman James Quello said staffers are already working overtime and that if the agency can't raise the $16.1 million from subscribers, the FCC may have to levy new fees on broadcasters.

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