Telephone franchise — See Ch. A463.
§ A464-3Qualifications of grantee; grant of authority.
§ A464-4Term of franchise.
§ A464-5Payments to Borough.
§ A464-7Local office; complaint procedure.
§ A464-8Liability; insurance; indemnification.
§ A464-9System construction and maintenance.
§ A464-10Promulgation of rules and regulations.
§ A464-12Compliance with act required.
§ A464-13Prohibited acts.
§ A464-14Incorporation of application.
§ A464-16Nonexclusivity of franchise.
§ A464-17When effective.
This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the "Comcast Cablevision Corporation, d/b/a Comcast Cablevision, Franchise Renewal Ordinance" (herein, the "ordinance").
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular, and words in the singular include the plural.
- The application for renewal of municipal consent filed with the Borough on or about August 25, 1992.
- The Board of Regulatory Commissioners of the State of New Jersey.
- The Borough of North Arlington, County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, and shall include, as appropriate, the governing body of the Borough.
- CABLE TELEVISION COMPANY or CATV COMPANY
- Any person owning, controlling, operating or managing a cable television system. The term "person," as used herein, shall be construed, without limiting the generality thereof, to include specifically any agency or instrumentality of this state or of any of its political subdivisions; but this definition shall not include a telephone, telegraph or electric utility company regulated by the Board in a case where it merely leases or rents or otherwise provides to a CATV company wires, conduits, cables or pole space used in the redistribution of television signals to or toward subscribers or customers of such CATV company.
- CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM or CATV SYSTEM
- Any facility within this state which is operated or intended to be operated to perform the service of receiving and amplifying the signals broadcast by one or more television stations and redistributing such signals by wire, cable or other device or means for accomplishing such redistribution, to members of the public who subscribe to such service; or distributing through its facility any television signals, whether broadcast or not; or any part of such facility. The term "facility," as used in this definition, includes all real property, antennae, poles, wires, cables, conduits, amplifiers, instruments, appliances, fixtures and other personal property used by a CATV company in providing service to its subscribers and customers.
- The grantee of rights under this ordinance awarding a franchise and is known as "Comcast Cablevision Corporation, d/b/a Comcast Cablevision."
- 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., or as that statute may be amended.
- FEDERAL REGULATIONS
- Those federal regulations relating to cable television service, 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.
- Includes every street, road, alley, thoroughfare, way or place of any kind used by the public or open to use by the public.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- STATE 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., or as that statute may be amended.
- STATE REGULATIONS
- Those regulations of the Board relating to cable television, N.J.A.C. 14:17-1.1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 14:18-1.1 et seq., or as such state regulations may be amended.
- SUBSCRIBER REVENUES
- Those revenues derived from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers located within the Borough for cable television reception service for which no separate or additional charge is made, i.e., basic cable service. "Subscriber revenues" shall not include revenues received as installation charges and fees for reconnections, inspection, repairs or modifications of any installations. "Subscriber revenues" shall also not include any revenues received as reimbursement of expense in the operation of any access channels; as advertising payments; from the leasing of cable channels; from programs for which a per-channel, per-program or program/channel tier charge is made; and from furnishing other communications and nonbroadcast services either directly or as a carrier for another party.
A public hearing concerning the renewal of the franchise herein granted to the company was held after proper public notice pursuant to the terms and conditions of the state act. Said hearing, having been held as above stated and having been fully open to the public, and the Borough, having received at said hearing all comments regarding the qualifications of the company to receive this franchise, hereby finds that the company continues to possess the necessary legal, technical, financial and other qualifications and that the company's operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible, and that, therefore, the Borough hereby grants the company a nonexclusive consent, franchise, right and privilege (herein, the "franchise") to construct, erect, operate, modify and maintain in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places now laid out or dedicated and all extensions thereof, and additions thereto, in the Borough such poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other television conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Borough of a cable television system and cable communications system for the purpose of distributing television and radio signals, and other electronic impulses in order to furnish television and radio programs, and various communications and other electronic services to the public. The right so granted includes the right to use and occupy said highways, streets, alleys, public ways and public places and all manner of easements for the purposes herein set forth and as provided by the federal and the state act. Any damages or repairs required from such use shall be the sole responsibility of the company and the company shall reimburse the Borough for all such reasonable and allowable costs within 30 days after the Borough's request for payment.
The franchise granted the company herein shall terminate 15 years from the date of issuance of a renewal certificate of approval by the Board.
The company shall, during each year of operation under this franchise, pay to the Borough 2% of the annual gross subscriber revenues received by the company for cable television services rendered to subscribers located within the Borough. This is the maximum currently permitted by the state act. In the event that the state act is amended to increase the maximum franchise fee payable to the Borough, the company agrees to pay the Borough such increased franchise fee in accordance with applicable law.
The Borough acknowledges that, under the federal act, municipalities do not have the authority to regulate the rates the company charges subscribers for its services.
During the term of this franchise, the company shall maintain a local business office or agent for the purpose of receiving and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters in accordance with N.J.A.C. 14:18-5.1. All complaints shall be received and processed pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:17-7.1.
In addition to the requirement of Subsection A of this section, the New Jersey Office of Cable Television (herein, the "OCTV") is hereby designated as the complaint officer required by N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26 to receive and act upon complaints by subscribers to cable television reception service provided pursuant to this franchise.
The company shall pay, and by its acceptance of this franchise the company expressly agrees that it will pay, all damages and penalties which the Borough may legally be required to pay as a result of the installation, operation or maintenance of the cable television system authorized herein. The Borough shall notify the company's General Manager within 15 days after the presentation of any claim or demand to the Borough, either by suit or otherwise, made against the Borough on account of any action, inaction or contract as aforesaid on the part of the company.
Furthermore, the company shall carry liability insurance in the minimum amounts as follows:
During the life of the franchise, the company shall give a bond to the Borough in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-28(d), 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 the Application herein.
Franchise territory. The consent granted under this ordinance shall apply to the entirety of the Borough and any property hereafter annexed thereto.
Facilities and equipment. In transmitting its television signals to subscribers in the Borough, the company shall provide a quality of signal that is at least as good as that customarily provided under prevailing industry standards, and shall comply with any requirements imposed by the federal regulations, and (to the extent not preempted by federal law) any state regulations relating to technical standards for the transmission of television signals, transmission quality or facilities and equipment.
Extension of service.
The company shall be required to provide service to any person's residence or business located in the Borough, in accordance with the company's stated installation charges and line extension policy as set forth in the application or as the same hereafter may be amended.
For purposes of any existing line extension areas, extension of service shall not be required without a subscriber contribution-in-aid-of-construction into any area where there are less than 35 homes per linear mile within 500 feet of the company's existing cable.
The company shall cause any and all construction plans relating to work on any extensions of its plant or work which could have a significant impact on public works within the Borough to be filed with the Borough's Engineer.
Relocation of poles. In the event that, at any time during the term of this ordinance, the Borough shall lawfully elect to alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other public way, the company, upon reasonable written notice by the Borough, shall remove, relay and relocate its poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other fixtures at the company's own expense. In the event that the Borough incurs any costs or penalties due to the failure of the company to relocate its poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other fixtures within a reasonable time, then the company shall reimburse the Borough for such costs and penalties, unless such failure shall be due to the actions or inactions of another party or pole occupier.
Temporary wire changes. The company shall, on the request of any person holding a valid building moving permit issued by the Borough, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of buildings, machinery or in other similar circumstances. The expense of such temporary removal, raising or lowering of wires shall be paid by the person requesting the same, and the company shall have the authority to require such payment in advance. The company shall be given not less than 10 days' advance notice to arrange for temporary wire changes, except in case of emergency.
Tree trimming. The company shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks and public places within the Borough so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in to contact with the wires and cables of the company.
Compliance with standards. All facilities and equipment of the company shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the requirements and specifications of the applicable ordinance and regulations set forth by the Borough and/or any other local, state or federal agencies.
The company shall have the authority to promulgate such rules, regulations, terms and conditions governing the conduct of its business as shall be reasonably necessary to enable the company to exercise its rights and perform its obligations under this franchise and to assure an uninterrupted service to each and all of its customers; provided, however, that such rules, regulations, terms and conditions shall not be in conflict with the federal and/or state acts and/or any Borough ordinances not inconsistent therewith.
The company shall not sell or transfer its CATV system to another nor transfer any rights under this franchise to another, except as provided in the state act.
This ordinance and franchise is subject to all provisions of the state act and federal act and to all lawful rules and regulations of the Board and OCTV adopted pursuant thereto. The company shall at all times comply with the rules and regulations governing cable television operations lawfully promulgated and adopted by the Board. In the event of a conflict between the state act and state regulations and any FCC or federal regulations, the FCC or federal regulations shall prevail.
The company shall not allow its cable or other operations to interfere with television reception or persons not served by the company, nor shall the system interfere with, obstruct or hinder in any manner the operation of the various utilities serving the residents of the Borough.
All of the statements and commitments contained in the application and any amendment thereto, except as modified herein, are binding upon the company as terms and conditions of this consent. The application and other relevant writings submitted by the company shall be annexed hereto and made a part hereof by reference.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid, preempted or unconstitutional by any court or federal or state agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision of this ordinance, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
Although the franchise granted to the company herein is deemed to be nonexclusive, the Borough agrees that it shall not grant any subsequent municipal consent(s) to any other person to construct, own, operate, extend or maintain a CATV system or cable communications system on or upon terms and conditions which are any more favorable than the terms and conditions stated herein.
This ordinance shall take effect upon its final passage and publication according to law.