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140. Discovery

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140.1 Cable Operator Information.

  1. In those cases when the cable operator has submitted initial rates or proposed an increase that exceeds the reasonable rate standard, the Legal Department or Board may require the cable operator to produce information in addition to that submitted, including proprietary information, if needed to make a rate determination. In these cases, a cable operator may request the information be kept confidential in accordance with this section. The cable operator shall have twenty (20) days to respond to information requests propounded by the Legal Department or Board. The Cable Operator may request an additional five (5) days for such response in accordance with Section 110.7 herein.
  2. In cases where initial or proposed rates comply with the reasonable rate standard, the Board may request additional information only in order to document that the cable operator's rates are in accord with the standard.

140.2 Request for Confidentiality.

  1. A cable operator submitting information to the Legal Department and Board may request, in writing, that the information not be made routinely available for public inspection. A copy of the request shall be attached to and cover all of the information and all copies of the information to which it applies.
  2. If feasible, the information to which the request applies shall be physically separated from any information to which the request does not apply. If this is not feasible, the portion of the information to which the request applies shall be identified.
  3. Each request shall contain a statement of the reasons for withholding inspection and a statement of the facts upon which those reasons are based.
  4. The Board or Legal Department shall consider and decide each request. Casual requests that do not comply with the requirements of this subsection shall not be considered.
  5. The Board may, when considering a request for confidentiality, conduct an in camera inspection of the documents or information claimed to be protected from disclosure. The Board or Legal Department may, in the ruling on the request, provide that the documents or information not be disclosed or that they be disclosed only in a designated manner or to designated persons. Any order on the request shall include clear and specific instructions to the Legal Department regarding the limitations placed on disclosure of the documents or information subject to the order.

140.3 Board or Legal Department Action.

Requests which comply with the requirements of 140.2, will be acted upon by the Board or Legal Department. The Board or Legal Department will grant the request if the cable operator presents by a preponderance of the evidence, a case for nondisclosure consistent with applicable federal regulations. If the request is granted, the ruling will be placed in a public file in lieu of the information withheld from public inspection. If the request does not present a case for nondisclosure and the Board or Legal Department denies the request, the Board or Legal Department shall take one of the following actions:

  1. If the information has been submitted voluntarily without any direction from the Legal Department the cable operator may request that the Legal Department return the information without considering it. Ordinarily, the Legal Department will comply with this request. Only in the unusual instance that the public interest so requires, will the information be made available for public inspection.
  2. If the information was required to be submitted by the Board, the information will be made available for public inspection.

140.4 Appeal.

If the Board or Legal Department denies the request for confidentiality, the cable operator may seek review of that decision from the FCC within five (5) working days of the decision, and the release of the information will be stayed pending review.

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