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Time Warner Cable Fined $25,000 for Missing Children’s Programming Files

WASHINGTON: Regulators have fined Time Warner Cable $25,000 for insufficient record-keeping related to children’s programming. The Federal Communications Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order to Time Warner Cable for “willful and repeated” violations of FCC public file rules. The action involves the cable operator’s Kansas City franchise.

FCC field agents visited the Kansas City TWC office on July 18, 2011 and “requested to inspect documents required to be in the public file,” the Order states. “After an hour of waiting and discussions with eight Time Warner employees, the agents were provided the requested records. The agents observed that the last entry for commercial records for children’s programming was dated March 27, 2008… There was no evidence that the missing records were ever compiled.”

The public inspection file was also missing proof of performance test data for 2008 and 2009. Proof of performance test records—basically, a signal leakage log—must be kept for at least five years and made available for public inspection upon request. Record pertaining to children’s programming must be placed in the public inspection file within 10 days of the conclusion of a quarter.

Time Warner Cable has 30 days to pay the fine or respond in writing to seek a reduction or cancellation.

Time Warner was among 11 cable and satellite providers cited for public inspection file violations and listed in an FCC Enforcement Advisory issued Wednesday.

“Despite widespread compliance,” the Advisory said, “we found some apparent violations of the public file requirements. Over one-third of the public file inspections revealed either missing or late-filed children’s programming reports.”

DirecTV and Dish, and Cox in Baton Rouge, La.; Comcast franchises in Elkridge, Md., and Mount Prospect, Ill.; Charter franchises in Athens, Ga., and Fort Worth Texas; Verizon Florida LLC; Cebridge and CCO Socal were all issued Notices of Violation for having incomplete children’s programming reports in their public inspection files.

“We remind cable and satellite operators that these reports must be placed in the public inspection file within 10 days of the end of each quarter,” the Advisory said.

~ Deborah D. McAdams