[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of East Hanover 5-14-2001 by Ord. No. 17-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. A216, Cable Television Franchise, adopted 7-11-1991 by Ord. No. 15-1991.
For the purpose of this ordinance, the terms defined herein shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACT or CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- That statute of the State of New Jersey relating to cable television, known as the "Cable Television Act," N.J.S.A. 48:5A-l et seq.
- Cablevision's application for renewal of municipal consent, which application is on file in the Township Clerk's office and is incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof, except as modified, changed, limited or altered by this ordinance.
- The Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey or its successor agency.
- CSC TKR, Inc. (Cablevision), the grantee of rights under this ordinance.
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- FEDERAL ACT
- The federal statute relating to cable communications, commonly known as the "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984," 47 U.S.C. Section 521 at seq., and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, or as those statutes may be amended.
- FEDERAL REGULATIONS
- Those federal regulations relating to cable television services, 47 C.F.R. 76 et seq. (and, to the extent applicable, any other federal rules and regulations relating to cable television, including but not limited to, those described in 47 C.F.R. 76.3), or as such regulations may be amended.
- The State of New Jersey.
- STATE REGULATIONS
- Those regulations of the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities relating to cable television, N.J.A.C. 14:178-1.1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 14:18-1 et seq., or as such regulations may be amended.
- The governing body of the Township of East Hanover in the County of Morris, State of New Jersey.
A public hearing concerning the consent herein granted to Cablevision was held after proper public notice pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act. Said hearing having been held and fully open to the public, and the municipality having received no comments regarding the qualifications of Cablevision to receive this consent, the township hereby finds Cablevision possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications to support municipal consent, and that Cablevision's operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.
The township hereby grants to Cablevision its nonexclusive consent to place in, upon, along, across, above, over and under its highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places in the municipality poles, wires, cables and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the township of a cable television system, and for the provision of any communications service over such system as may be authorized by federal or state regulatory agencies. Operation and construction pursuant to said consent is conditioned upon prior approval of the Board of Public Utilities.
The consent granted herein shall be nonexclusive and shall be for a term of 10 years from the date of issuance of a certificate of approval by the Board.
If Cablevision seeks successive consent, it shall, prior to the expiration of this consent, apply for a municipal consent and certificate of approval in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-16, and applicable state and federal rules and regulations. The company shall also petition the Board for approval authorizing continued operation during the period following expiration of the consent granted herein and until such time that a decision is made by the township and Board relative to the renewal of said consent.
The consent granted under this ordinance to Cablevision shall apply to the entirety of the township and any property hereinafter annexed.
Cablevision shall be required to proffer video programming service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence (located in) within the portion of the franchise territory as described in the application for municipal consent, at tariff(ed) rates for standard and nonstandard installation.
Cablevision shall extend service along any public right-of-way outside its service area to these residences within the franchise territory which are located in areas which have a residential density of 25 homes per mile or greater, or areas with less than 25 homes per mile where residents agree to share the costs of such extension in accordance with the line extension formula as provided by the company in its application for municipal consent.
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Cable Television Act, Cablevision shall pay to the township, as an annual franchise fee, a sum equal to 2% of the actual gross revenues received from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers for its cable television reception services in the township. In the event applicable law hereinafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, the township and Cablevision shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof.
Cablevision shall provide, free of charge, one standard installation and monthly cable television reception service to all state-accredited public schools and all public libraries within the township. When high-speed internet access via cable modem service from the company becomes commercially available to residential customers within the township, Cablevision shall provide to all state-accredited public schools and all public libraries, free of charge, one free (high-speed) cable modem and monthly internet (access) service, including a standard installation.
Cablevision shall provide, free of charge, one installation and monthly cable television reception service to the Recreation Center on Fifth Street and to Fire Headquarters on Ridgedale Avenue. When high-speed internet access via cable modem service from the company becomes commercially available to residential customers within the township, Cablevision shall provide to Town Hall (and to Police Headquarters), free of charge, one free cable modem and monthly internet service including standard installation to each site (the designated buildings). The township shall be permitted, at its own cost, to network up to three additional personal computer terminals in the Town Hall building [four computers in total (at each location)] to the cable modem provided by Cablevision.
Cablevision shall perform construction and installation of its plant and facilities in accordance with applicable state and federal law. The company shall be subject to the following additional construction requirements with respect to the installation of its plant and facilities in the township:
In the event that the company or its agents shall disturb the pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces, the company shall, at its sole expense, repair and replace such disturbances in as good a condition as existed prior to the commencement of said work.
If at any time during the period of this consent, the municipality shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other way or place, the company, upon reasonable notice by the township, shall remove and relocate its equipment at its own expense.
Upon request of a person holding a building or moving permit issued by the township the company shall temporarily move or remove appropriate parts of its facilities so as to permit the moving or erection of buildings or for the performance of other work. The expense of any such temporary removal or relocation shall be paid in advance to the company by the person requesting the same. In such cases, the company shall be given not less than 14 days prior written notice in order to arrange for the changes required.
During the exercise of its rights and privileges under this consent, the company shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks and public places of the township so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires, cables, conduits and fixtures of the company. Such trimming shall be only to the extent necessary to maintain proper clearance for the company's facilities.
Cablevision shall comply with the technical and customer service standards established for the cable industry under applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations.
Cablevision shall establish and maintain during the entire term of this consent a local area business office or agent for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters. Said office shall be open daily during normal business hours, and in no event less then 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays.
The Office of Cable Television is hereby designated as the Complaint Officer for the township pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:5A-26, and any complaints by local subscribers to cable television reception or service shall be filed directly with said office. All complaints shall be reviewed and processed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 14:17-6.5.
Cablevision agrees to maintain and keep in force and effect at its sole cost at all times during the term of this consent, sufficient liability insurance naming the township as an additional insured and insuring against loss by any claim, suit, judgment, execution or demand stemming from or arising out of the company's exercise of its rights hereunder in the minimum amounts of $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death to one person, $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death resulting from any one accident or occurrence and an excess liability policy in the amount of $5,000,000.
Cablevision shall obtain and maintain at its sole cost and expense during the term of this consent, a bond to the municipality in the amount of $25,000. Such bond shall be to insure the faithful performance of its obligations as provided in this franchise.
The rates of the company shall be subject to regulation as permitted by federal and state law.
Cablevision shall implement a senior citizen discount in the amount of 10% off the rate for the monthly basic level of cable television reception service to any person 62 years of age or older, who subscribes to cable television reception service provided by the company, subject to the following:
Such discount shall only be available to eligible senior citizens who do not share the subscription with more than one person in the same household who is less than 62 years of age.
Subscribers seeking eligibility for the discount must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program in the state pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-21.
The senior citizen discount rate herein relates only to the entry level basic rate of cable television reception service and shall not apply to any additional service, feature, or equipment offered by the company, including premium channel service and pay-per-view services.
Cablevision shall be required to have the capability to override the audio portion of the system in order to permit the broadcasting of emergency messages by the township pursuant to state and federal requirements. The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the township or any other person during an emergency if for any reason the municipality is unable to make full use of the cable television system as contemplated herein. The township shall utilize the state-approved procedures for such emergency uses.
In the event that another multi-channel video program providers' service within the township creates a significant competitive disadvantage to Cablevision, the company shall have the right to request from the township lawful amendments to its franchise that relieve it of burdens which create the unfair competitive situation. Should the company seek such amendments to its franchise, the parties agree to negotiate in good faith appropriate changes to the franchise in order to relieve the company of such competitive disadvantages. If the parties can reach an agreement on such terms, the township agrees to support the company's petition to the Board for modification of the consent in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7.
If the parties are unable to agree on appropriate amendments to this franchise, the township acknowledges that the company shall have the right to petition the Board directly for such amendments in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7; provided, however, that the township shall be under no obligation to support Cablevision's request for such relief from the Board.
Cablevision represents and acknowledges that as of the date of its acceptance of this municipal consent, competition within the township has not yet risen to the level of creating a significant competitive disadvantage sufficient to enable the company to seek relief under this section.
Upon expiration, termination or revocation of this ordinance, Cablevision, at its sole cost and expense and upon direction of the township, shall remove the cables and appurtenant devices constructed or maintained in connection with the services authorized herein, unless Cablevision, its affiliated entities or assignees should, within six months after such expiration, termination or revocation obtain certification from the FCC to operate an open video system or any other federal or state certification to provide telecommunications.
Cablevision shall provide and maintain, without charge for its use, a designated public, governmental and educational access channel (PEG access) for use solely by the residents and institutions of the township. This channel may only be used for noncommercial programming. Cablevision shall be responsible for developing, implementing, interpreting and enforcing reasonable rules for PEG access channel use, in accordance with applicable law.
Cablevision shall also provide the township with a grant of $15,000 to be applied toward the purchase ($10,000) of PEG access equipment, such as cameras, editing and playback devices, (which shall be installed at the direction of the township). The township shall, in its discretion, be permitted to use such grant toward the purchase of other telecommunications related services from Cablevision in lieu of purchasing PEG access equipment.
The township agrees that Cablevision shall retain the rights to use the PEG access channel or portion thereof for non-PEG access programming during times when the township is not utilizing the channel for purposes of providing PEG access programming. In the event that the company uses said PEG access channel for the presentation of such other programming, the PEG programming shall remain the priority use and the company's rights with respect to using the channel for non-PEG programming shall be subordinate to the township's provision of PEG access programming on such channel.
All of the commitments contained in the application and any amendments thereto submitted in writing to the township by the company, except as modified herein, are binding upon Cablevision as terms and conditions of this consent. The application and any other writings submitted by Cablevision in connection with this consent are incorporated in those ordinance by reference and made a part hereof, except as specifically modified, changed, limited or altered by this ordinance or to the extent that they conflict with the state or federal law.
This consent shell be construed in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state and local laws.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held 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 portion thereof.
This ordinance shall take effect upon final passage and publication as required by law; provided, however, that implementation thereof shall be stayed until the issuance of a certificate of approval by the Board of Public Utilities.