State of New Jersey
Department Of The Public Advocate
240 West State St.
P.O. Box  851  
Trenton, NJ 08625-0851
Phone: (609) 826-5090    Fax: (609) 984-4747


For Immediate Release: 
February 14, 2006
Public Advocate

For Further Information

Nancy Parello:

Robyn Roberts
(Rate Counsel)
Tel: 973-648-2290

  N.J. Ratepayer Advocate Hails FCC’s Analysis on ‘A La Carte’ Cable TV Selections for Consumers and Its Confirmation of RPA Position

Newark, N.J.—The New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate (RPA), Seema M. Singh, today hailed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s analysis that ‘a la carte’ cable selection of cable TV channels would indeed save consumers money. This new FCC staff analysis, a reversal of earlier findings, affirms the position that the New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate had previously filed with the commission.

“Cable prices need to be reigned in,” said Singh. “The FCC’s announcement confirms what we have been saying for years, a la carte service will help consumers get rate relief in cable TV service.”

The FCC’s recent announcement said in most cases subscribers would save 3 percent to 13 percent on their bills under a la carte pricing. The FCC report reversed an earlier finding and acknowledged that its November 2004 report was wrong to conclude that the average cable household would likely see a monthly rate increase of up to 30 percent under a la carte selection for cable channels.

Singh said consumers frequently call the Ratepayer Advocate Office and complain of skyrocketing cable prices. In 2003, Singh met in Congressman Rush Holt’s (D-NJ) Washington, D.C., office with FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein requesting that ‘a la carte’ service be given to cable TV consumers. Today, Singh renewed her plea and asked the FCC to take immediate action.

“We fully support customer choice and I am calling on the FCC to immediately require cable companies to unbundled their services,” said Singh. “Consumers are long overdue to have relief."

The Division of the Ratepayer Advocate is an independent state agency that represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer and telecommunications and cable TV service. It serves as an active participant in every proceeding whenever New Jersey companies seek changes in rates or services. The Ratepayer Advocate also gives consumers a voice in setting long-range energy, water, and telecommunications policy that will affect the delivery of services well into the future. Additional information on this and other matters can be found at the Division of Ratepayer Advocate’s website at