CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS HOLDING COMPANY, LLC AND SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS -- (CONTINUED)
jurisdictions that have chosen not to certify, refunds covering the previous
twelve-month period may be ordered upon certification if the Company is unable
to justify its basic rates. The Company is unable to estimate at this time the
amount of refunds, if any, that may be payable by the Company in the event
certain of its rates are successfully challenged by franchising authorities or
found to be unreasonable by the FCC. The Company does not believe that the
amount of any such refunds would have a material adverse effect on the
consolidated financial position or results of operations of the Company.
The 1996 Telecom Act, among other things, immediately deregulated the rates
for certain small cable operators and in certain limited circumstances rates on
the basic service tier, and as of March 31, 1999, deregulates rates on the cable
programming service tier (CPST). The FCC is currently developing permanent
regulations to implement the rate deregulation provisions of the 1996 Telecom
Act. The Company cannot predict the ultimate effect of the 1996 Telecom Act on
the Company's consolidated financial position or results of operations.
The FCC may further restrict the ability of cable television operators to
implement rate increases or the United States Congress may enact legislation
that could delay or suspend the scheduled March 1999 termination of CPST rate
regulation. This continued rate regulation, if adopted, could limit the rates
charged by the Company.
A number of states subject cable television systems to the jurisdiction of
centralized state governmental agencies, some of which impose regulation of a
character similar to that of a public utility. State governmental agencies are
required to follow FCC rules when prescribing rate regulation, and thus, state
regulation of cable television rates is not allowed to be more restrictive than
the federal or local regulation. The Company is subject to state regulation in
10. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS:
The Company's employees may participate in 401(k) plans (the "401(k)
Plans"). Employees that qualify for participation can contribute up to 15% of
their salary, on a before tax basis, subject to a maximum contribution limit as
determined by the Internal Revenue Service. The Company made contributions to
the 401(k) Plans totaling $20 for the period from December 24, 1998, through
December 31, 1998.
11. ACCOUNTING STANDARD NOT YET IMPLEMENTED:
In June 1998, the Financial Accounting Standards Board adopted SFAS No.
133, "Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities." SFAS No.
133 establishes accounting and reporting standards requiring that every
derivative instrument (including certain derivative instruments embedded in
other contracts) be recorded in the balance sheet as either an asset or
liability measured at its fair value and that changes in the derivative's fair
value be recognized currently in earnings unless specific hedge accounting
criteria are met. Special accounting for qualifying hedges allows a derivative's
gains and losses to offset related results on the hedged item in the income
statement, and requires that a company must formally document, designate and
assess the effectiveness of transactions that receive hedge accounting. SFAS No.
133 is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 1999. The Company has
not yet quantified the impacts of adopting SFAS No. 133 on its consolidated
financial statements nor has it determined the timing or method of its adoption
of SFAS No. 133. However, SFAS No. 133 could increase volatility in earnings