Severe Storms

Consumer Bulletin: Severe Storms

WARNING: A CONSUMER SHOULD NEVER TOUCH A FALLEN WIRE, AS IT MAY BE A LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE OR CONNECTED TO LIVE POWER

Storms in New England can present two major problems for cable
television subscribers in Massachusetts.

First, cable lines can come down resulting in temporary loss of cable service.

Second, if the storm is severe and communities lose electricity, subscribers will be unable to access cable service even if the cable operator's lines are unaffected by the storm.

The Department of Telecommunications and Cable would like to remind consumers and cable operators of their rights and responsibilities under Massachusetts law. Chapter 166A, Section 5(L) of Massachusetts General Laws requires cable operators to grant subscribers a pro-rated credit or rebate for service interrupted for 24 or more consecutive hours.  Even if an entire tier of cable service is out for 24 hours - but not the whole service - the operator must still grant the credit.

As severe storms are widely publicized, consumers who are without service because of the storm do not need to call their cable operator. However, consumers should call their cable operator immediately if they observe a cable line that has fallen down as a result of the storm. A consumer should never touch a downed wire.

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