[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Kingwood 2-3-2009 by Ord. No. 15-02-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township hereby grants to Service Electric Cable TV of Hunterdon. Inc. ("SECTVH") renewal of its nonexclusive municipal consent to place in, upon, across, above, over and under highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, easements, public ways and public places in the Township, poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other television conductors, fixtures, apparatus and equipment as may be necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance in the Township of a cable television and communications system.
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. Such meaning or definition of terms is supplemental to those definitions of the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") rules and regulations, 47 C.F.R. Subsection 76.1 et seq., and the Cable Communications Policy Act, 47 U.S.C. Section 521 et seq., as amended, and the Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq., and shall in no way be construed to broaden, alter or conflict with the federal and state definitions:
- ACT or CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- Chapter 186 of the General Laws of New Jersey, and subsequent amendments thereto, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq.
- SECTVH's Application for Municipal Consent.
- BASIC CABLE SERVICE
- Any service tier, which includes the retransmission of local television broadcast signals and any public, educational and governmental channels.
- BOARD or BPU
- The Board of Public Utilities, State of New Jersey.
- The grantee of rights under this ordinance and is known as Service Electric Cable TV of Hunterdon, Inc. ("SECTVH").
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- MUNICIPALITY or TOWNSHIP
- The Township of Kingwood, County of Hunterdon, State of New Jersey.
- OFFICE or OCTV
- The Office of Cable Television of the Board.
- PRIMARY SERVICE AREA (PSA)
- Consists of the area of the Township currently served with existing plant as set forth in the map annexed to the SECTVH's Application for Municipal Consent.
Public hearings conducted by the Township, concerning the renewal of municipal consent herein granted to the company were held after proper public notice pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act and the regulations of the Board adopted pursuant thereto. Said hearings, having been fully open to the public, and the Township, having received at said public hearings all comments regarding the qualifications of the company to receive this renewal of municipal consent, the Township hereby finds that the company possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications and that the company's operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.
The nonexclusive municipal consent granted herein shall extend for 15 years from the date of the issuance of a renewal certificate of approval by the Board.
If there exists a period of time following the expiration of the Township's original consent granted under the prior § A163-1 et seq., Kingwood's Cable Television Ordinance, until such time that a decision is made by municipal governing body relative to the renewal of said consent, the company shall petition the Board for a certificate of approval authorizing continued operation during any such period.
In the event that the municipality shall find that the company has not substantially complied with the material terms and conditions of this ordinance, the municipality shall have the right to petition the OCTV, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47, for appropriate action, including modification and/or termination of the certificate of approval; provided, however, that the municipality shall first have given the company written notice of all alleged instances of noncompliance and an opportunity to cure same within 90 days of that notification or such additional period as may be necessary where the cause of the noncompliance is beyond the reasonable control of the company.
Notification of impending transfer. SECTVH shall give the municipality 30 days' notice of any impending transfer of the franchise to any other entity, person, or otherwise.
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act, the company shall, during each year of operation under the consent granted herein, pay to the Township 2% of the gross revenues from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers for cable television reception service in the Township or any higher amount permitted by the Act or otherwise allowable by law, whichever is greater.
In the event that applicable law hereafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, the municipality and SECTVH shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof, which amount shall be due and payable from the date that the franchise fee was increased by said law.
The consent granted under this ordinance to the renewal of the franchise shall apply to the entirety of the Township and any property subsequently annexed hereto.
The company shall be required to proffer service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence or business located in all areas of the franchise territory as described on Initial Wiring Map attached hereto as Schedule A, at tariffed rates for standard and nonstandard installations. Any additional line extension of the system shall be in accordance with OCTV Line Extension Policy ("LEP"). For purposes of the LEP, the minimum density of homes per mile shall be 16. To the extent not inconsistent with applicable federal or state law, SECTV installation charges and line extension policy is as set forth in its application.
Editor's Note: Schedule A is on file at the Township offices.
SECTVH has modified its application as regards its line drop policy to reflect that the company shall extend its plant from public rights-of-way to all residences and businesses within 300 aerial or underground feet of the operator's existing plant at no cost beyond the normal installation rate. SECTVH shall also extend its plant at the cost of $1 per foot after the first 300 feet of installation to subscribers from public roads. SECTVH will also extend its plant along private roads under the same conditions as set forth above. In the event that the density of homes along a private road does not meet the threshold under the company's line extension policy, the property owner(s) shall share the cost of the line extension and provide easements or other agreements as may be necessary for installation and maintenance of the company's facilities at the expense of the property owner(s) but for the benefit of the company.
Restoration. In the event that the company or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways, or other surface in the nature topography, the company shall, at its sole expense, restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good a condition as existed prior to the commencement of said work.
Relocation. 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 municipality, shall remove, re-lay or relocate its equipment, at the expense of the company.
Temporary removal of cables. The company shall, upon request of the municipality at the company's expense, temporarily raise, lower, or remove its lines in order to facilitate the moving of buildings or machinery or in other like circumstances. Whenever the request is made by, for, or on behalf of private parties, the cost will be borne by those same parties.
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 or other public places of the municipality so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cable of the company. Such trimming shall be only to the extent necessary to maintain proper clearance of the company's wire and cables.
In providing services to its customers, the company shall comply with N.J.A.C. 14:18-1 et seq. and all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, technical standards for the transmission of television signals, transmission quality or facilities and equipment. The company shall strive to meet or exceed all voluntary company and industry standards in the delivery of customer service and shall be prepared to report on it to the community upon written request of the Township.
The company shall continue to comply fully with all applicable state and federal statues and regulations regarding credits for outages, the reporting of same to regulatory agencies and notification of same to customers. Every effort shall be made by SECVTH to repair service outages within 24 hours of their being reported. If such repair is not made within 24 hours, SECTVH shall reimburse each affected subscriber the subscriber's daily fee for each day of lost service in accordance with the requirements and procedures of the office.
The company shall continue to fully comply with all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations regarding the availability of devices for the hearing impaired and the notification of same to customers.
The company shall use every reasonable effort to meet or exceed voluntary standards for telephone accessibility developed by the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) except those which are modified by the office.
Nothing herein shall impair the right of any subscriber or the municipality to express any comment with respect to telephone accessibility to the Complaint Officer, or impair the right of the Complaint Officer to take any action that is permitted under law.
SECTVH shall provide a toll-free telephone number for customer calls, said number to be included on all monthly bills. All equipment provided by SECTVH shall be serviced, repaired or replaced by SECTVH through service calls made directly to the individual subscriber's location unless such calls can be resolved electronically or in another mutually agreeable manner.
SECTVH shall notify the municipality or its designee at least 30 days in advance of any proposed rate increase and shall publish all its rates for all subscriber services to each customer in a manner consistent with the requirements of the office.
SECTVH shall give due consideration to programming preferences expressed by customers. Further, SECTVH shall provide subscribers in the Township with at least the same broad categories of programming, in approximately the same quality, as are now provided and which appear in the application.
SECTVH will endeavor at all times to keep rates reasonably comparable to other area systems on a cost-per-channel basis, and the rates charged to the subscribers of Kingwood Township shall not be higher than the rates charged to any other subscriber of SECTVH within its other franchised municipalities.
SECTVH shall provide reasonable notice informing subscribers of telephone numbers, addresses and procedures in order to keep them informed of all cable television services available from SECTVH.
SECTVH shall comply with any state law or regulation, and shall use its best efforts to comply with any guideline with respect to maintaining space for a statewide interconnect channel.
The Office of Cable Television is hereby designated as the Complaint Officer for the municipality pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26(b). All complaints shall be received and processed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.5. The municipality shall have the right to request copies of records and reports pertaining to complaints by Township customers from the OCTV.
During the term of this franchise, and any renewal thereof, the company shall maintain a local 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. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Telephone answering for such purposes as mentioned herein will be provided by the company's employees, representatives or agents 24 hours per day.
The telephone number and address of the local office shall be listed in applicable telephone directories and in correspondence from the company to the customer. The telephone number for the local office shall utilize an exchange that is a non-toll call for Township residents.
During the life of the franchise, the company shall give to the municipality a bond 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 municipality reserves the right by resolution to require a reasonable increase in the amount of said bond, subject to review by the OCTV and approval by the Board.
The rates of the company shall be subject to regulation as permitted by federal and state law. If applicable law is hereafter amended to permit the exercise of regulatory power over rates by municipalities, the municipality reserves the right to exercise the maximum power permitted by law at such time said law becomes effective.
The company shall continue to provide the installation of one outlet and basic monthly service to public buildings within the Township, including the Municipal Building, Fire Station, Township Elementary School and First Aid Station.
The company shall also provide such public, educational and governmental access channel as provided in its application, such channel being shared with other communities.
Service Electric will upgrade the cable system in Kingwood Township.
The upgrade is to cover all homes in the Township that are passed by the current cable system (customer and non-customer homes alike).
Design of system upgrade would be done in 2009.
Construction of upgrade would thereafter begin in 2010 and is to be completed within two years of the receipt of all permits and authorizations; except for any delays cause beyond the control of Service Electric.
The upgrade will allow for the development of the following advanced services:
With this upgrade, Service Electric will be able to make available to the residents of Kingwood Township all the advanced services offered in the larger urban areas of its system in New Jersey.
Company representatives shall appear at least once annually, upon reasonable written request of the Township, at a public hearing of the governing body or before the Township's Cable Television Advisory Committee, to discuss matters pertaining to the provision of cable service to residents of the Township and other related issues as the Township and company may see fit.
In the event that the Township determines that it is necessary and feasible for it to contract with the company for the purpose of providing two-way or interconnection services, the company shall be required to apply to the BPU for approval to enter into and establish the terms and conditions of such contract. All costs for such application to the BPU shall be borne by the Township.
The company shall be required to fully comply with all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations, rules and regulations governing the implementation, operation and testing of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the municipality 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 company shall at all times maintain a comprehensive general liability insurance policy with a single limit amount of $1,000,000 covering liability for any death, personal injury, property damages or other liability arising out of its construction and operation of the cable television system, and an excess liability (or "umbrella") policy in the amount of $3,000,000. The municipality shall be named as an additional insured under said policy.
All of the commitments and statements contained in the application and any amendment thereto submitted in writing to the municipality by the company, except as modified herein, are binding upon the company as terms and conditions of this municipal consent. The application and any other relevant writings submitted by the company shall be considered a part of this ordinance and made a part hereof by reference as long as it does not conflict with state or federal law. All ordinances or parts of ordinances or other agreements between the Township and the company that are in conflict with the provisions of this agreement are hereby declared invalid and superseded.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court or federal or state agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and its validity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the ordinance.
Should any of the federal or state statutes, regulations or pronouncements applicable to the regulation of cable television be modified in any way, such modifications, to the extent that they embody required terms and conditions and meaningfully can be incorporated into this ordinance, shall be so incorporated, consistent with any applicable effective dates specified in such modification. To the extent that any such modification places limits on permissible terms and conditions and any provision of this ordinance becomes invalid by virtue of such modification, the preceding § A163-20 shall apply.
Any prior ordinance of this Township granting consents to the company or any of its predecessors is hereby repealed in its entirety as of the effective date of this ordinance. Furthermore, all resolutions and ordinances regarding such consents within the Township are repealed as of the effective date of this ordinance.
This ordinance shall take effect upon the publication thereof, the municipality receiving written notification from SECTVH that it accepts the provisions of this ordinance and the issuance of a renewal certificate of approval from the BPU.