FCC Extends Charter Petition Comment Deadline

Cites U.S. Appeals Court decision, for one

The Federal Communications Commission has extended the comment deadline on Charter Communications’ petition to exit two Time Warner Cable merger conditions early.

The deadline had been July 22-Aug. 6, but the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau said it was extending the deadline until Sept. 2 “to ensure that the Bureau has a full record upon which to evaluate the effects of the conditions.”

It also wants to give stakeholders a chance to weigh in on the Aug. 14 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that also deals with ending Charter deal conditions.

Charter is looking to get out from under the “no charging for interconnection” and “no usage-based pricing conditions,” The court threw out the first, but said the second was still in force.

Those conditions are set to expire in May 2023 but Charter wants them to end in May 2021.

The FCC, in imposing the conditions, said they were to ensure Charter could not “hamper or prevent its current and future online video rivals from expanding, becoming more competitive, or starting up in the first place.”

Charter has suggested those rivals hardly need protection from the company given that its rival internet service providers have not had similar conditions and the over-the-top marketplace has flourished.