April 9, 2008

Rhode Island: Secrecy Affirmed for Cable TV

Rhode Island’s lead cable TV regulator has agreed to keep secret previously open data about the business operations of the three cable providers in the state.

Cox Communications, Verizon Communications and Full Channel TV successfully lobbied the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to prevent public access to details from their annual reports, including how many customers they have and financial information.

The Providence Journal newspaper has filed a request with the state to review the secrecy decision.

According to the Journal, Eric Palazzo, the state’s lead cable regulator, said, “we do not want to do anything that the companies feel would be negative in their competitive environment.”

Linda Lotridge Levin, a journalism professor at the University of Rhode Island, said the move goes against open-government practices, and could negative effect on consumer choice and rights.

Source:

“Secrecy granted to cable TV providers”
The Providence Journal (Rhode Island), April 3, 2008

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