Municipality of Kingston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Municipality of Kingston 9-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-4.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
This ordinance also superseded former Ch. A186, Cable Television Franchise, adopted 1-7-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-1.

§ A186-1 Short title.

This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the "Cable Television Franchise Ordinance."

§ A186-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not consistent with the text, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM OR SYSTEMS
Any facility or group of facilities which, in whole or in part, receives, modifies or originates television, FM radio or other electrical signals for the purpose of transmitting or distributing such signals by wire, cable or other means to subscribing members of the public or to selected customers as herein contemplated.
COMPANY
Service Electric company.
COUNCIL
The Municipal Council of Kingston.
MUNICIPALITY
The Municipality of Kingston.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, incorporation, company or organization of any kind.

§ A186-3 Grant of authority.

The Municipality hereby grants unto the company the nonexclusive right and privilege to construct, erect, operate and maintain within the boundaries of the Municipality, to the extent granted by law, all component parts and facilities necessary and proper for the operation of a cable television system within the jurisdiction of the Municipality. The Municipality reserves the right and privilege to grant other cable television franchises to competing companies that might wish to operate such a service within the Municipality.

§ A186-4 Franchise term.

This grant shall be for a period of 15 years from the effective date of this ordinance with option to renew the same after full public proceeding affording due process, for an additional ten-year period. Twelve months preceding the expiration of the initial fifteen-year term, the Municipality shall have the right to renew or extend the franchise or revoke the franchise for good cause and invite new applications for the purpose of refranchising. In either case, the Municipality shall renew, extend or revoke the franchise only pursuant to a full public proceeding affording due process.

§ A186-5 Installation and extension of system.

Company shall serve all residents of the Municipality except to the extent that low household density, adverse terrain or other factors render providing service impracticable or technically or economically infeasible. Company's cable television system shall not be required to be installed in, or extend to, areas of the Municipality where potential revenues from subscribers to be served therein would produce a return insufficient to justify economically such installation or extension without limiting the generality of the foregoing, if otherwise practicable and technically feasible:
A. 
Service shall be provided at normal installation and monthly service rates to an individual customer whose point of connection is located within one hundred fifty (150) feet on in place cable distribution cable;
B. 
Company, at its cost, shall make an extension of its cable system where the number of existing households per linear mile of cable to be passed by the extension equals or exceeds the average number of households passed per linear mile of existing cable plant within the Municipality.
C. 
In no event shall company be required to make an extension where the number of existing households to be passed per mile is less than 50; nor shall company be required to install or extend its cable system in areas where it cannot obtain necessary rights-of-way over private property at an economically feasible cost, or permission to attach its facilities to public utility poles or conduits.

§ A186-6 Franchise fee.

The company shall pay to the Municipality a franchise fee of 5% of the gross basic and premium service offered by the company. Said payments shall be made semiannually. The company may add said franchise fee as a line item on a subscriber bill. Premium cable service shall mean the furnishing of television programming for which a per-channel charge is made additional to that for basic cable television service. Municipality shall have audit rights to review the gross receipts provided by company to verify said payments.

§ A186-7 Customer service.

Customer will provide twenty-four-hour access for customer service. Service appointments will be available during a four-hour period in the morning and afternoon (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), Monday through Friday, if requested.

§ A186-8 Technology.

Company will use its best efforts to keep up with and provide new technologies, including digital cable television and data services during the life of this franchise.

§ A186-9 Free service.

The company shall, upon request, provide the installation of one outlet and basic monthly service to the Municipal building, each firehouse and police department free of charge.

§ A186-10 Public, educational and governmental access.

Company will make a channel available for public, educational, and governmental access.

§ A186-11 Condition of street occupancy.

All transmission and distribution structures, lines and equipment erected by the company within the Municipality shall be so located as to cause minimum interference with the proper use of streets, alleys and other public ways and places, and to cause minimum interference with the rights of reasonable convenience of property owners who adjoin any of the said streets, alleys or other public ways and places. The company shall obtain any required permits prior to construction.

§ A186-12 Compliance with applicable laws.

The company shall, at all times during the life of this franchise, be subject to all lawful exercise of the police power by the Municipality.

§ A186-13 Company liability; indemnification.

A. 
The company shall save the Municipality harmless from all loss sustained in account of any suit, judgment, execution, claim or demand whatsoever, resulting from the operations of the company in the construction, operation or maintenance of its system in the Municipality.
B. 
The Municipality shall notify the company, within 10 days after the presentation of any claim or demand, either by suit or otherwise made against the Municipality on account of any damages or losses as aforesaid resulting from the operations of the company. Thirty days from the enactment of this ordinance, upon request, the company shall furnish satisfactory evidence in writing that it has in force public liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000 for any one person and $1,000,000 for any one accident and property damage insurance of not less than $1,000,000 duly issued by an insurance company or insurance companies authorized to do business in this commonwealth.

§ A186-14 Maintenance.

The company shall maintain all parts of the system in good working condition and in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

§ A186-15 Right of revocation.

The Municipality shall have the right to rescind or revoke the rights granted upon any substantial violation by company or its assignees of any of the obligations and requirements contained herein after written notice by the Municipality to the company or its assignees.
A. 
Such written notice shall specify the violation.
B. 
Such written notice shall give the company a reasonable time within which to correct the violation, not less than 30 days or more than 60 days from the date of said notice.

§ A186-16 Acceptance of franchise.

If the company shall decide to exercise the rights and privileges set forth in this ordinance, it shall file in writing its unequivocal acceptance of all of the terms and provisions hereof with the Municipality within 30 days of the final adoption of this ordinance. Such acceptance shall constitute an agreement on the part of the company to comply with all of the terms, conditions and provisions of this ordinance.

§ A186-17 Landlord payments; tenant discrimination.

A. 
No landlord shall demand or accept payment from company for permitting company to provide cable television service on or within said landlord's property or premises; provided, however, that such landlord may be entitled to reasonable reimbursements for any direct expenses incurred by him in connection with the installation of cable television service.
B. 
No landlord shall interfere with the installation of cable television facilities upon his property or premises, nor shall landlord discriminate in rental charges, or otherwise, between tenants who receive cable service and those who do not. No landlord shall demand or accept payment from any tenant, in any form, for permitting cable television on or within his property or premises.

§ A186-18 Theft of services and tampering.

No person, whether or not a subscriber to the cable system, shall willfully, maliciously or otherwise damage or cause to be damaged any wire, cable, conduit, apparatus, appurtenances or equipment of company operating a cable television system within the Municipality, or commit any act with intent to cause such damage, or to tap, tamper with or otherwise connect any wire or device to a wire, cable, conduit, apparatus or equipment of such Franchise with the intent to obtain a signal or impulse from the cable system without authorization from or compensation to such company, or to obtain cable television or other communications service with intent to cheat or defraud said company of any lawful charge to which it is entitled.

§ A186-19 Publication costs.

The company shall assume the cost of publication of this ordinance as such publication is required by law and shall pay the same upon demand by the Municipality.

§ A186-20 Assignment.

The agreement or privileges granted hereunder shall be fully and freely assignable, but no assignment to any person, firm or corporation shall be effective until the assignee has filed with the governing body of the Municipality an instrument duly executed, reciting the fact of such assignment, accepting the terms of this franchise and agreeing to be bound by said terms.

§ A186-21 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

§ A186-22 Repealer.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed.

§ A186-23 When effective.

This ordinance shall become effective 30 days following its publication date pursuant to Kingston Charter Section 213.