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Biller FCC Complaint 09-21-2011

Biller FCC Complaint 09-21-2011

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Published by Sam Biller
Formal complaint to the FCC regarding Bright House Networks in Tampa, FL misleading its customers regarding the ability of retail CableCARD compatible devices to access switched digital video channels ("SDV").
Formal complaint to the FCC regarding Bright House Networks in Tampa, FL misleading its customers regarding the ability of retail CableCARD compatible devices to access switched digital video channels ("SDV").

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Published by: Sam Biller on Sep 22, 2011
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05/25/2012

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Approved by OMB 3060-0874 Estimated time per response: 30 minutes

Form 2000E - Media (General) Complaint
Consumer's Information:
First Name: Samuel Last Name: Biller

-------------------

---------------___

Company Name: __ ~~ ~~~~ __ ~~ __ ~~~~ ~~~ (Complete only if you are filing this complaint on behalf of a company or an organization.) Street Address or Post Office Box Number: 819 SEDDON COVE WAY City: TAMPA State: FL Zip Code: 33602

---------------------------------------

Telephone Number (Residential or Business): E-mail Address:sambiller@gmail.com
-i: ,~ -I,

(!!!J 915 - 6416

Ext:

ANSWER

EACH QUESTION THAT APPLIES TO YOUR SPECIFIC COMPLAINT

* ;: *

1. What is the name of the company that is the subject of your complaint? Bright House Networks 2. If your complaint is about a radio or television station, provide the following information: a. Station call sign (e.g., "KDID," "WZUF," "KDIU-FM," "WZUE-TV"): b. Radio station frequency (e.g., "1020" or "88.5"): c. Station location: City: or TV channel (e.g., "13"): State: _ _

3. If you are complaining about a cable or satellite operator (e.g., Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV), provide the following information: a. Operator name: Bright House Networks b. Operator location: City: Tampa State: FL

4. If you are complaining about a particular program, provide the following information: a. Network: --------b. Program name: c. Date of program (mmldd/yyyy): _I _I _
AM PM

__ I

d. Time of program:

5. Provide the details of your complaint, including the time, date and nature of any conduct or activity complained of and identifying information for companies, institutions or individuals involved (ifnot already described above): a. Date (mmldd/yyyy): 09 I 06 I 2011 I b. Time: c. See attached letter
AM PM

September 2007

September 21, 2011 Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Complaints 445 12th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20554 Ladies and Gentlemen: I am writing to formally complain that Bright House Networks appears to be violating 47 C.F.R. Section 76.1205(c) by misleading its customers regarding the ability of retail CableCARD compatible devices to access switched digital video channels ("SDV"). On October 14,2010, the FCC adopted rule 76. 1205(c) to prevent cable operators from using misleading information about SDV to scare consumers into using operator supplied set top boxes instead of retail devices. This rule went into effect on August 8, 2011. Despite the new rule, I received the attached letters from Bright House Networks on September 6,2011 and May 11,2011 doingjust what the FCC warned Bright House Networks not to do - misleading consumers about the ability to continue to use their retail devices with SDV. As a current user of retail navigation devices (a TiVo Series 3 product and a TiVo HD product) on the Bright House Networks cable system in Tampa, Florida, I am very familiar with the use of CableCARD devices and Tuning Adapters on the Bright House Networks cable infrastructure. This is the 2nd letter I have received from Bright House Networks indicating, "Unfortunately, your unidirectional retail device does not support bi-directional programming delivered onto the SDV system." This is in fact a very misleading statement by Bright House Networks since my Tuning Adapter makes receipt of SDV channels work in the same manner as a Bright House Networks provided set-top box. I attempted to contact Bright House Networks to discuss the letter. I spoke with a Customer Service Representative and after putting me on hold for a few minutes; the representative came back on the line and told me that the letter does not apply to me. I asked her why they continue to send this type of letter to CableCARD users that already have Tuning Adapters. She indicated that their computer system wasn't sophisticated enough to distinguish between CableCARD-only customers and CableCARD customers with Tuning Adapters. The letters from Bright House do not even attempt to Adapter can be provided by the cable operator to make these devices. It is likely that Bright House Networks is attempting back to an operator provided leased set-top box which offers operator over the total life of the product. notify the consumer that a Tuning SDV channels available to retail to shift the retail CableCARD user a higher profit margin to the cable

My experience receiving this type of letter from my cable provider clearly demonstrates the use ofSDV in an anticompetitive manner which flies in the face of the Commissions desire

Federal Communications Commission September 21, 2011 Page 2

to spur competition in this area. This is a case where regulations that allow cable operators to restrict two way devices on their networks hurts consumers. While some consumers like myself will continue to overcome these obstacles for superior products like the retail devices provided by TiVo, a truly competitive marketplace for retail navigation devices simply cannot develop as long as cable operators like Bright House Networks continue to engage in such discriminatory conduct in violation of the Commission's policies and the spirit of Section 629 of the Communications Act. There can be no legitimate justification for Bright House's misleading consumer notification. It would have been trivially easy for Bright House to tell consumers that they can continue to use their TiVo CableCARD DVRs with a tuning adapter to receive SDV. Bright House apparently deliberately and willfully declined to do so in violation of the FCC's rules both after adoption of the rule and again after the effectiveness of the rule. I urge the FCC to vigorously investigate this matter before further damage is done to consumers who wish to continue to use their retail CabieCARD devices. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding this consumer complaint.

Respectfully submitted,

Samuel Biller 819 Seddon Cove Way Tampa, FL 33602 T: (813) 915-6416 sam.biller@gmail.com Attachments

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September 6, 2011

Dear Valued Customer, Bright House Networks would like to thank you for choosing us as your video service provider. We are writing to you as a valued customer in order to provide advance notice of important upcoming changes that affect your ability to access certain programming on unidirectional retail devices. Bright House Networks is rolling out a new digital video delivery technology in your area known as Switched Digital Video ("SDV").. SOV is a robust bandwidth-management system that makes it possible for us to offer more digital video programming services than ever before, including new HD channels. In order to launch even more new video services, we are migrating some existing services to the SOV system which is a bi-directional platforrn. Unfortunately, your unidirectional retail device does not support bi-directional programming delivered over the SOV system. Please be advised. therefore. on or after September 12, 2011, Bright House Networks will deliver the following package on the SOV system and this programming will no longer be available on unidirectional retail devices until further notice: Package American life Network BBCAmerica Bloomberg Television ESPN Deportes ESPNews ESPNU FUX West FOX Soccer Channel Fuse G4 Gospel Music Channel Great American Country HBO Latino HBO Latino West IFC InfoMas Logo MLB Network Nat Geo WILD Channel NUlllber cllannel134 channel 123 channel 127 channels 153 dlannel150 channel 151 channels 115 channel 120 channel 132 channel 124 channel 145 channel 133 channels 207 channels 214 channels 113 channel 900 channel 147 channel 159 channel 148

& 914

& 372

& 895 & 896 & 384

~-----------------~ TPA

815

brl,g
May 11,2011 Dear Samuel Biller, Bright House Networks as a valued customer would

N ETWO R x s

like to thank you for choosing on unidirectional retail devices.

us as your video service provider. upcoming

We are writing your ability

to you to

in order to provide

advance notice of important

changes that affect

access certain programming Bright House Networks Video ("SDV").

is rolling out a new digital video delivery bandwidth-management including

technology

in your area known

as SWitched Digital

sDV is a robust

system that makes it possible new HO channels.

for us to offer more digital

video programming

services than ever before,

In order to launch even more new video services, we are migrating a bi-directional programming platform. delivered Unfortunately, your unidirectional over the SDV system. beginning

some existing services to the SDV system which is

retail device does not su pport bi-directional

Please be advised, therefore, packages onthe notice:

on or after June 14, 2011, Bright House Networks will not be available on unidirectional

will deliver

the follOWing

SOV s~stem and this programming

retail devices until further

Channel Name: AmericanLife BBCAmerica Bloomberg TV Bay News 9 en Espa..iol f TV

Channel Number:

Channel Name: Great American HBD Latino HBD Latino West IFC Logo MLB Network Nat Geo Wild Planet Green Sundance The Hub Country

Channel Number: 133 207 214

134

123 127
154 and 900

113 and 384

£SP'N Depones
ESP News ESPNU FLiX West Fox.Soccer Channel

153 and 914 150 151
115 and 372

147
159 148

108
1.17 and 374

120
132

Fuse
G4 Gospel Music Channel

124
145

Tr35
VH1 Classic

102 157 and 930 138
to obtain a digital set-top box or

If you wish to receive the above services, you may contact similar bi-directional You may continue device that is capable of supporting to use your unidirectional

Bright House Networks two-way communications

with the SDV system. provided CableCARD to will

retail device with your Bright House Networks on the SOV system.

receive video programming other than the programming delivered notify you in advance of any other programming changes. Please contact us at 1-866-976-EASY if you have any questions,

Bright House Networks

We thank you again for choosing Sincere.ly, Bright House Networks

Bright House Networks.

NETWORKS

Planet Green Sundance The Hub Tr3 VH1. Classic

channel 108 channels 117 & 374 channel 102 channels 157 & 930

channeiLSd

If you wish to continue receiving the above services, you may contact Bright House Networks to obtain a digital set-top box or similar bi-directional device that is capable of supporting two-way communications with the SDV system. If you already have a digital set-top box on another television in your home, the services will remain on the channels listed above on those sets. You may continue to use your unidirectional retail device with your Bright House Networks provided CableCARD to receive video programming other than the programming delivered on the SDV system. Bright House Networks will notify you in advance of any other programming changes. Please contact us at 1-866-976-3279 if you have any questions. We thank you again for choosing Bright House Networks ..

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