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SEC Filings

S-4/A
RENAISSANCE MEDIA GROUP LLC filed this Form S-4/A on 08/06/1998
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  Pole Attachment
 
  The Communications Act requires the FCC to regulate the rates, terms and
conditions imposed by public utilities for cable systems' use of utility pole
and conduit space unless state authorities can demonstrate that they
adequately regulate pole attachment rates, as is the case in Louisiana. In the
absence of state regulation, the FCC administers pole attachment rates through
the use of a formula that it has devised. In some cases, utility companies
have increased pole attachment fees for cable systems that have installed
fiber optic cables and that are using such cables for the distribution of
nonvideo services. The FCC concluded that, in the absence of state regulation,
it has jurisdiction to determine whether utility companies have justified
their demand for additional rental fees and that the Communications Act does
not permit disparate rates based on the type of service provided over the
equipment attached to the utility's pole. The 1996 Telecom Act and the FCC's
implementing regulations modify the current pole attachment provisions of the
Communications Act by immediately permitting certain providers of
telecommunications services to rely upon the protections of the current law
and by requiring that utilities provide cable systems and telecommunications
carriers with nondiscriminatory access to any pole, conduit or right-of-way
controlled by the utility. The FCC recently initiated a rulemaking to consider
revisions to its existing rate formula, which revisions may increase the fees
paid by cable operators to utilities for pole attachments and conduit space.
Additionally, in February 1998, the FCC adopted new regulations to govern the
charges for pole attachments used by companies providing telecommunications
services, including cable operators. Several parties have requested the FCC to
reconsider some provisions of its new regulations. These new pole attachment
rate regulations will become effective five years after enactment of the 1996
Telecom Act, and any increase in attachment rates resulting from the FCC's new
regulations will be phased in equal annual increments over a period of five
years beginning on the effective date of the new FCC regulations. The ultimate
outcome of these rulemakings and the ultimate impact of any revised FCC rate
formula or of any new pole attachment rate regulations on the Company or its
business cannot be determined at this time.
 
  Other Statutory Provisions
 
  The 1992 Cable Act, the 1996 Telecom Act and FCC regulations preclude a
satellite video programmer affiliated with a cable company, or with a common
carrier providing video programming directly to customers, from favoring an
affiliated company over competitors and require such a programmer to sell its
programming to other multichannel video distributors. These provisions limit
the ability of cable program suppliers affiliated with cable companies or with
common carriers providing satellite-delivered video programming directly to
customers to offer exclusive programming arrangements to their affiliates. The
1992 Cable Act requires operators to block fully both the video and audio
portion of sexually explicit or indecent programming on channels that are
primarily dedicated to sexually oriented programming or, alternatively, to
carry such programming only at "safe harbor" time periods currently defined by
the FCC as the hours between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Several adult-oriented cable
programmers have challenged the constitutionality of this statutory provision,
but the U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to overturn a lower court's denial
of a preliminary injunction motion seeking to enjoin the enforcement of this
law. The 1996 Telecom Act also contains provisions regulating the content of
video programming and computer services and specifically prohibits the use of
computer services to transmit "indecent" material to minors. The United States
Supreme Court has found these provisions unconstitutional to the extent they
regulated the transmission of indecent material. The Communications Act also
includes provisions, among others, concerning horizontal and vertical
ownership of cable systems, customer service, customer privacy, marketing
practices, equal employment opportunity, technical standards, and consumer
equipment compatibility.
 
  Other FCC Regulations
 
  The FCC has numerous rulemaking proceedings pending that will implement
various provisions of the 1996 Telecom Act; it also has adopted regulations
implementing various provisions of the 1992 Cable Act and the 1996 Telecom Act
that are the subject of petitions requesting reconsideration of various
aspects of its rulemaking proceedings. In addition to the FCC regulations
noted above, there are other FCC regulations covering such areas as equal
employment opportunity, syndicated program exclusivity, network program
nonduplication, closed
 
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