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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

House panel seeks PUC probe on Docomo’s $2 cable TV rate hike

House Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications Committee chair Rep. Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan) asked the Public Utilities Commission to review Docomo Pacific’s $2 rate increase per basic cable television service customer effective Feb. 1.

Deleon Guerrero said there is no indication that PUC has approved this rate increase pursuant to law.

“Based on our legal counsel’s findings, he could not find any provision that would exempt cable television from rate review and approval. Based on 4 CMC 8482, the Public Utilities Commission must establish that Docomo’s rates are ‘just and reasonable and in conformance with federal law,’” Deleon Guerrero said in a Jan. 14 letter to PUC chair Joseph C. Guerrero.

The House PUTC panel chairman added that “it would appear to be appropriate to require Docomo Pacific to comply with the Public Utilities Commission Act.”

As of Friday afternoon, the House committee has yet to receive response from PUC whether it will pursue a review.

In May last year, Docomo Pacific completed its $129.8-million acquisition of MCV Broadband.

That was after Japan-based NTT Docomo received approval from federal regulators to push through with the deal.

MCV Broadband is a supplier of cable television, telephony, and high speed Internet services in Commonwealth and Guam. Before Docomo Pacific’s acquisition, it was owned by private equity firm Seaport Capital.

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