The Borough of Union Beach, hereinafter referred as the borough or the municipality, has determined that CSC TKR, Inc., d/b/a Cablevision of Raritan Valley, hereinafter referred to as the company or Cablevision, has the technical competence and general fitness to operate a cable system in the borough. The borough by prior ordinance granted its municipal consent for Cablevision to obtain a nonexclusive franchise for the placement of facilities and the establishment of a cable television system in the borough. Cablevision filed an application for renewal of this franchise with the borough and the Office of Cable Television on or about February 2, 2004.
The borough has held public hearings and has made due inquiry to review Cablevision's performance under the franchise, and to identify the borough's future cable related needs and interests, and has concluded that Cablevision has substantially complied with its obligations and committed to certain undertakings responsive to the borough's future cable related needs and interests.
The mayor and council of the borough hereby renews its non-exclusive consent to renewal of the franchise to Cablevision subject to the requirements set forth herein.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. These definitions shall in no way be construed to broaden, alter or conflict with the federal or state definitions:
- ACT OR CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- Shall mean 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.
- Shall mean Cablevision's application for renewal of municipal consent on file in the office of the borough clerk and which is incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof, except as modified, changed, limited or altered by this section.
- Shall mean the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey or its successor agency.
- BOROUGH OR MUNICIPALITY
- Shall mean the Borough of Union Beach, County of Monmouth in the State of New Jersey, when used as a territorial designation, or its mayor and council when used as a governmental designation.
- Shall mean CSC TKR, Inc. d/b/a Cablevision of Raritan Valley (cablevision), the grantee of rights under this chapter.
- Shall mean the Federal Communications Commission.
- FEDERAL ACT
- Shall mean 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
- Shall mean those federal regulations relating to cable television services, 47 C.F.R., § 76.1, et seq., (and, to the extent applicable, any 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.
- Shall mean the State of New Jersey.
- STATE REGULATIONS
- Shall mean those regulations of the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, N.J.A.C. 14:17-1.1, et seq., N.J.A.C. 14:18-1.1, 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 as above stated and said hearing having been fully open to the public, and the municipality having received all comments regarding the qualifications of Cablevision to receive this consent, the municipality hereby finds the company possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications and that Cablevision's operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.
Prior to the renewal of consent to this franchise the municipal clerk was directed by the mayor and council to contact another local cable provider to inquire whether there was any interest in providing cable service within the municipality. There was no such interest and no other bids for this franchise have been received by the municipality.
The mayor and council of the borough hereby renews its grant of nonexclusive consent to Cablevision to place in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places in the borough, poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, and other fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Borough of a cable television system, and for the provision of any communication 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 the issuance of a certificate of approval by the board of public utilities.
If Cablevision seeks a renewal of the consent provided herein, 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 a time that a decision is made by the borough relative to the renewal of said consent.
The consent granted by this chapter to Cablevision shall apply to the entirety of the borough and any property hereafter annexed thereto.
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.
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Cable Television Act, Cablevision shall pay to the borough, as an annual franchise fee, a sum equal to 2% of the gross revenues received from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers for its cable television reception services in the borough. In the event applicable law hereinafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, the borough and Cablevision shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof.
The cable company shall provide the standard installation of one outlet and basic monthly cable television service to each elementary and secondary school and/or municipal public library in the municipality, to the offices of the borough clerk, the borough finance office and the borough tax collector in the Borough Hall, and to the senior citizen room in Borough Hall, or any succeeding municipal senior citizen center, free of charge. Each additional outlet installation shall be paid for by the institution on materials plus labor basis. Monthly cable television service on such additional outlets shall be charged at the regular tariffed rates for additional outlets.
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 Borough:
Restoration. 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 condition as existed prior to the commencement of said work, as determined by the borough's engineer under the borough's generally applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Relocation. If at any time during the period of this consent, the borough shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other way or place, the company, upon reasonable notice by the borough, shall remove, re-lay and relocate its equipment, at the expense of the company.
Temporary Removal of Cables. Upon the request of a person to whom the borough has issued building or other permit the company shall temporarily move or remove appropriate parts of its facilities to allow for the moving or erection of buildings and machinery, or in other similar circumstances. The expense of any such temporary removal or relocation shall be paid in advance to the company by the party requesting such action, except when requested by the borough, in which case the company shall bear the cost. The company shall be given not less than 14 days' prior written notice in order to arrange for the changes required, except in the case of an emergency, which shall be determined by the appropriate official of the borough or other governmental entity.
Removal or Trimming of Trees. During the exercise of its rights and privileges under this franchise, the company shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks and public places of the borough 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 all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters. Such local business office shall be open during normal business hours, and in no event less than 9:00 a.m. - 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 Union Beach pursuant to 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.
The company agrees to maintain and keep in full force and effect at its sole expense at all times during the term of this consent, sufficient liability insurance naming the Borough of Union Beach as an additional insured and insuring against loss by any such claim, suit, judgment, execution or demand in the minimum amounts of (1) $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, (2) $250,000 for property damage resulting from any one accident or occurrence.
Cablevision shall obtain and maintain, at its sole cost and expense, during the entire term of this franchise, a bond in a form reasonably acceptable to the Borough of Union Beach, which bond shall be in the amount of $25,000. Such bond shall be to insure the faithful performance of all undertakings of the company as represented in its application for municipal consent incorporated herein.
The rates of the company for cable television services 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 10% off the monthly rate of the broadcast basic level of cable television reception service to any person 62 years of age or older who subscribes to the company's cable television service, 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 or not disabled.
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 1.2, subscribers seeking eligibility for the discount must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled program pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-21.
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.
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.
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 borough pursuant to state and federal requirements. The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the borough 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 borough shall utilize the state-approved procedures for such emergency uses.
In the event that another multi-channel video program provider's service within the borough creates a significant competitive disadvantage to Cablevision, the company shall have the right to request from the Borough 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 borough 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 reach an agreement on appropriate amendments to the franchise, the borough 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, the Borough 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 borough 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 chapter, 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. This access shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, Cable Channel 22 to be shared with Keyport.
Pursuant to the borough's request, and in lieu of PEG access channel described in the application for municipal consent, the borough will receive the municipal access channel originated by Keyport Borough as long as Keyport Borough continues to originate a municipal access channel.
The borough agrees that Cablevision shall retain the right to use the PEG access channel, or portion thereof, for non-PEG access programming, during times when the borough 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 borough's provision of PEG access programming on such channel.
All of the commitments in the application and any amendment or appendix thereto are binding upon Cablevision as terms and conditions of this consent, except as specifically modified herein. The applications, appendices and other writings submitted by Cablevision to the borough are incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof, except as specifically modified, changed, limited or altered by the express terms of this chapter, as long as they do not conflict with the provisions of state or federal law.
This chapter and all documents incorporated by reference 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 chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by a court or federal or state agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not effect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
This chapter shall become effective upon issuance of a certificate of approval by the board of public utilities.