‘Quiet’ Law Won’t Affect Local Cable

Thanks to an new Federal Communications Commission regulation, some television viewers will start to notice that commercials are no longer louder than the programs in which they run. A new regulation states that commercials can’t be louder than the average volume of the TV show.

Area residents on Cable Services Inc., however, will not notice a change because the small cable company has been waived by the FCC from compliance with the new regulation.

According to the regulation, providers with fewer than 15,000 customers will not have to comply.

The change only applies to digital signals, according to a CSI representative, and to comply to the regulation would be expensive as the company would need to purchase testing equipment. The cost would have to be passed on to customers.

Dickey Rural Networks, which provides cable TV to parts of southern Barnes County, already has quiet commercials, according to James Byerley, engineering manager and will not apply for a waiver.

Since DRN does not insert any of its own commercials, it depends on programmers to make sure their programming meets FCC standards and keeps certificates of compliance from each of its programmers.

If necessary, DRN would contract volume testing services, which is not terribly expensive according to Byerley, to avoid having to purchase expensive equipment.

The law will go into effect next year.