[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of 11-1-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this ordinance the terms defined above shall have the meanings there indicated, and the following additional terms shall have the following meanings:
- 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-1 et seq.
- Cablevision's application for renewal of municipal consent, which application is on file in the City'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.
- The governing body of the City of in the County of Hudson and the State of New Jersey.
- Cablevision of Hudson County, LLC, d/b/a Cablevision of Hudson ("Cablevision"), the grantee of rights under this ordinance.
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- FEDERAL ACT
- That federal statute relating to cable communications commonly known as the "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984," 47 U.S.C. § 521 et 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 CFR 76.1 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 CFR 76.3), or as such regulations may be amended.
- STANDARD INSTALLATION
- The installation of drop cable to a customer's premises where the distance from the point of entry into the building being served is less than 150 feet from the active cable television system plant.
- 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. 14:17-1.1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 14:18-1 et seq., or as such regulations may be amended.
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 all comments regarding the qualifications of Cablevision to receive this consent, the City 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 City 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 City of a cable television system, and for the provision of any communication service over the 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.
This consent granted herein shall be nonexclusive and shall be for a term of 10 years from the date of the issuance of the certificate of approval by the Board of Public Utilities.
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-11 and N.J.S.A. 48:5A-16, and applicable state and federal rules and regulations. The company shall also seek approval from the Board authorizing continued operation during the period following expiration of the consent granted herein, and until such a time that a decision is made by the City and the Board relative to the renewal of said consent.
The consent granted under this ordinance to Cablevision shall apply to the entirety of the City and any property hereafter annexed.
Cablevision shall be required to proffer video programming service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence located in the franchise territory at tariffed rates for standard and nonstandard installation. Commercial properties shall be provided service in accordance with Cablevision's commercial line extension policy.
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Cable Television Act, Cablevision shall pay to the City, 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 City. In the event applicable law hereinafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, then the City and Cablevision shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof.
Upon written request from the City, the company shall provide, free of charge, one standard installation and monthly basic cable television service to all state or locally accredited public schools and all municipal buildings used for governmental purposes within the City.
Upon written request from the City, the company shall provide to a municipal building, without charge, the following: 1) one standard installation; 2) one cable modem; and 3) basic cable modem service for the term of this ordinance. The City shall be permitted to network, at its own cost, four personal computers terminals to the cable modem provided by the Cablevision. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company as those policies may exist from time to time.
Upon written request from the City, the company shall provide to state and locally accredited elementary and secondary schools and municipal public libraries in the City, without charge, the following: 1) one standard installation per school or library; 2) one cable modem per installation; and 3) basic cable modem service for the term of this ordinance for each installation. Each school and library shall be permitted, at its own cost, to network up to 25 computers to the cable modem provided by Cablevision. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company, as those policies may exist from time to time.
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 City:
In the event that the company or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces, the company shall at its sole expense restore 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 City, shall remove or relocate its equipment, at its own expense.
Upon request of a person holding a building or moving permit issued by the City, 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 City 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 than 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 City pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26. All complaints shall be reviewed and processed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 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 City as an additional insured and insuring against loss by any such claim, suit, judgment, execution or demand in the minimum amounts of $500,000 for bodily injury or death to one person and $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death resulting from any one accident or occurrence stemming from or arising out of the company's exercise of its rights hereunder.
Cablevision shall obtain and maintain, at its sole cost and expense, during the entire term of this ordinance, 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 for cable television service shall be subject to regulation to the extent permitted by federal and state law.
Cablevision shall implement a senior citizen discount in the amount of 25% off the monthly broadcast basic level of cable television service rate to any person 62 years of age or older, who subscribes to cable television services 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; and
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-11.2, subscribers seeking eligibility for the discount must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-21; and
The senior discount herein relates only to the broadcast basic level of cable television service and shall not apply to any additional service, feature, or equipment offered by the company, including any premium channel services and pay-per-view services; and
Senior citizens who subscribe to a level of cable television service beyond expanded basic service, including any premium or per-channel a la carte service, shall not be eligible for the discount; and
The company shall have no further obligation to provide the senior discount herein in the event that a) the company converts the municipal consent granted herein to a system-wide franchise in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-25.1; or b) upon Board approval of a certification that another cable television service provider offering services to residents of the City files, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-30d, is capable of serving 60% or more of the households within the Township. In the event the company does cease providing a senior discount pursuant to this provision, it shall comply with all notice requirements of applicable law.
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 City pursuant to state and federal requirements. The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the City 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 City shall utilize the state-approved procedures for such emergency uses.
In the event that the City approves or permits a cable system to operate in the community on terms more favorable or less burdensome than those contained in this ordinance, such more favorable or less burdensome terms shall be applicable in this consent, subject to a petition to the Board of Public Utilities as provided for in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7.
In the event that a nonfranchised multichannel video programmer provides service to residents of the City, Cablevision shall have a right to request franchise amendments to this ordinance that relieve Cablevision of regulatory burdens that create a competitive disadvantage to the company. In requesting amendments, Cablevision shall file with the Board of Public Utilities a petition for approval in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7 seeking to amend the ordinance. Such petition shall: i) indicate the presence of a nonfranchised competitor(s); ii) identify the basis for Cablevision's belief that certain provisions of this franchise place it at a competitive disadvantage; and iii) identify the regulatory burdens to the amended or repealed in order to eliminate the competitive disadvantage. The City shall not unreasonably withhold or object to granting the company's petition and so amending the ordinance, subject to a petition to the Board of Public Utilities as provided for in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7.
In any subsequent municipal consent, the City shall require, at a minimum, the same terms and conditions of any other provider of multichannel video programming subject to the City's regulatory authority as those contained in the instant consent. In the event such subsequent consent does not contain the same terms and conditions as the instant consent, the City 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 NJAC 14:17-6.7 to relieve the company of competitive disadvantages identified in the company's petition.
Upon expiration, termination or revocation of this ordinance, Cablevision, at its sole cost and expense and upon direction of the Board, 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 continue to make available noncommercial public, educational and governmental (PEG) access as described in the application for municipal consent.
The City agrees that the company shall retain the right to use the PEG access channel, or portion thereof, for non-PEG access programming, during times when the City 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 City provision of PEG access programming on such channel.
Cablevision shall continue to provide and maintain the access return line at Union Hill High School, for use by the City in the production of noncommercial educational and governmental access programming on the cable system. Cablevision shall have discretion to determine the format and method of transmission of the PEG access programming provided for in this § A440-21.
In consideration for the rights granted by this ordinance, Cablevision shall provide the City with an initial grant in the amount of $11,000. Such amount shall be paid within 90 days following the grant of the certificate from the Board. In addition, beginning in the second year of the municipal consent and annually thereafter through the ten-year term of the franchise, Cablevision shall pay a grant to the City in the amount of $6,000 in each of the following years of the term of the ordinance (the "annual grant"). The annual grant may be used by the City for any cable and/or other telecommunications-related purpose as the City, in its discretion, may deem appropriate. Cablevision shall not be obligated to make any additional payments beyond year 10 of the franchise. The annual grant shall be payable to the City within 60 days from receipt of the City's written request. Notwithstanding the foregoing, should Cablevision apply for a system-wide certification or otherwise convert its municipal consent to a system-wide certification in accordance with applicable law, it shall be relieved of any payments due and owing after the date of such conversion or award of a system-wide franchise.
The company shall have no further obligation to provide any PEG grant payments due and payable after the date upon which:
The company converts the municipal consent granted herein to a system-wide franchise in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-25.1; or
Board approval of a certification of another cable television service provider offering services to residents of the City files, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-30d, that the provider is capable of serving 60% or more of the households within the City.
All PEG access support provided by the Cablevision shall be for the exclusive use and benefit of company's customers within the City.
Although nothing herein shall require Cablevision to carry or transmit any particular programming source, Cablevision shall provide subscribers in the City with a similar mix, and, at a minimum, the same level of video programming as is now provided to the City of Union City subscribers and which appears in the company's application. The company shall provide the City of Union City subscribers with at least the same broad categories of programming in approximately the same quantity as are now provided and which appear in the company's application.
All of the commitments contained in the application and any amendment thereto submitted in writing to the City by the company except as modified herein, are binding upon Cablevision as terms and conditions of this consent. The application and any other written amendments thereto submitted by Cablevision in connection with this consent are incorporated in this 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 state or federal law.
This consent shall 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 issuance of a certificate of approval as issued by the Board of Public Utilities.