Cable telecommunications companies are among the most regulated in the nation. Federal, state and local laws and regulations all impact almost every aspect of the business.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau oversees regulation of the cable industry. It designates a “local franchising authority” to regulate cable television service. Since 2006, in Michigan, for most cities and townships, this authority has been the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). A few local governments still have contracts with cable companies, but as they expire, those franchise agreements are replaced by one managed through the MPSC.
The MPSC’s authority is laid out under Public Act 480 of 2006, known as the “Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act,” which was created to promote competition in providing video service in the state of Michigan.
The law creates a uniform franchise agreement that is to be used between each franchising entity and video provider in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Public Service Commission has been the designated agency to implement the Act.
Video service providers must comply with the state statute and have a franchise agreement in place to provide video services in a local community.