Charter Leaks

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Neal McLain

Nov 20, 2002, 12:27:32 PM11/20/02
j debert <> wrote:

> I just got off the phone with Charter re a possible leak on their
> system in Hollister CA. Told them it was heard on air and Public
> Safety bands. The call-taker did not want to hear about it unless it
> was a "customer with a problem" and almost got away without being
> told the location ...

Whereupon John Higdon <> wrote:

> Cable leakage is a very serious matter and the FCC very actively
> enforces the rules in this regard.


> Tell them if they don't attend to it TODAY (not tomorrow, not next
> week), that you will file a complaint with the FCC with full
> particulars. If there is interference with public service
> communications, the FCC will come out and shut them down ... no ifs
> ands or buts.

The FCC won't "come out and shut them down," but it will definitely
take action.

The FCC requires that each cable system submit an annual report called
Form 320 "Basic Signal Leakage Performance Report." This report
specifies the system's leakage performance, reduced to a single
number, based on tests conducted either by an airspace flyover or by
ground-based measurements. This report also requires the names and
telephone numbers of three persons:

- Cable System Owner (the legal corporate name; in
Charter's case, it would be the corporate office).

- Person(s) responsible for report (the person who
actually filled out Form 320).

- Person(s) responsible for test (the person who
actually conducted the measurements on which that
"single number" was based).

If the FCC gets a signal-leakage report, their first action is to call
one or more of those three telephone numbers. They will advise the
system of the complaint, and request that the system submit a written
report of the situation after the leak has been fixed.

If it's the system's first offense, and if the written report is filed
on a timely basis, that's usually the end of it. Repeated offenses by
the same system will, of course, result in more serious actions up to
and including cease-and-desist orders and/or fines. A
cease-and-desist order would apply only to the offending signals,
rather than to the entire system.

Form 320 can be seen at

Neal McLain

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