Township of Chatham, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of Ordinance Nos. 16-82 and 16-92.]
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 1]
A public hearing regarding the Company's consent application was held on February 27, 2003, after proper public notice, according to the terms and conditions of the Cable Television Act. The hearing was fully open to the public and the Township received at the hearing all comments regarding the qualifications of the Company to receive municipal consent and the community's present and future cable related needs and interests. Pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein, the Company possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications to support this renewed grant of municipal consent, and the Company's operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 2]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. Such meaning or definition of terms is supplement to those definitions given by the Federal Communication Commission, FCC rules and regulations, 47 C.F.R. Section 76.1 et seq., and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C., Section 521 et seq., as amended, and the New Jersey 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 Federal or State definitions:
ACT OR CABLE TELEVISION ACT - Shall mean Chapter 186 of the General Laws of New Jersey and subsequent amendments thereto, Section 48:5A-1 et seq.
BOARD - Shall mean the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
FEDERAL ACT - Shall mean the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 521, et seq.
OCTV - Shall mean the Board of Public Utilities' Office of Cable Television.
PATRIOT OR THE COMPANY, THE GRANTEE OF RIGHTS UNDER THIS CHAPTER - Shall mean Patriot Media & Communications CNJ, LLC, and its permitted successors or assigns.
TOWNSHIP OR CHATHAM - Shall mean the Township of Chatham, County of Morris, State of New Jersey.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 3]
The Township hereby grants a nonexclusive consent of renewal, franchise, right and privilege for Patriot to construct, own, extend, erect, operate, modify and maintain in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, pubic ways and public places now laid out or dedicated and all extensions thereof and additions thereto in the Township, such poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Township of a cable television system and cable communications system for the purpose of distributing television and radio signals and other impulses in order to furnish television and radio programs and data to the public and for other lawful purposes. The rights of grant include the right to use any occupancy said highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places and all manner of easement for the purpose herein set forth and as provided by the Federal and State Acts.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 4]
The consent herein granted shall be nonexclusive and shall expire 15 years from the date of issuance of a Renewal Certificate of Approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The Township's consent is subject to, and expressly contingent upon, the Company commitments which shall be expressed by acceptance of this chapter as required under the Cable Television Act.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 5]
The Company shall, during each year of operation under the consent granted herein, pay to the Township a franchise fee equal to the greater of 2% of the gross revenues from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers to its cable television reception service in the Township or the maximum amount permitted under applicable law. The Township acknowledges that 2% is the maximum currently permitted under the Cable Television Act.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 6]
The consent granted under this chapter to the Company shall apply to the entirety of the Township and any property hereafter annexed.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 7]
The primary service area shall consist of all public residential streets within the Township existing as of the date of this chapter[1] as set forth in a map supplied by Patriot to the Township with its application. Patriot's line extension policy shall apply to new residential public streets and to unserved commercial areas along public streets and rights-of-way.
Editor's Note: This chapter was adopted May 27, 2004 by Ordinance No. 2004-010.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 8]
Patriot shall be required to provide service to any person's residence or business located in the Township in accordance with Patriot's stated installation charges and line extension policy as set forth in its application and tariff or as the same may hereafter be amended. As new streets and roads are constructed within the Township, Patriot will extend its system onto such roads in a timely fashion in accordance with its line extension policy. For purposes of the line extension policy, the minimum homes per mile density shall be 25.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 9]
In transmitting its television signals to subscribers in the Township, Patriot shall provide, at a minimum, a good quality signal, in accordance with Federal and State technical standards and prevailing industry standards. Patriot shall adhere to technical specifications recommended by the National Cable Television Association for the transmission of television signals, signal quality, and facilities and equipment, to the extent such standards remain consistent with Patriot's technical operations during the course of this franchise. The Township reserves all rights and authority regarding technical standards provided it by Federal and State law and regulations at any time during the franchise.
There shall be no material degradation in signal quality of programming delivered to subscribers from that which is received by the Company.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 10]
The Company shall maintain its system in good and reasonable operating condition at all times during the term of the franchise.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 11]
The Company shall rebuild the cable system as specified in the application and in this chapter. The distribution system shall be rebuilt with both fiber optic and coaxial cable and is anticipated to employ what is customarily known as "fiber to the service area" architecture. The fiber to the service area architecture consists of fiber optic cable from the system head-end to a node in the service area. Upon completion of the rebuild, the planned capacity shall be no less than 750 MHz of bandwidth.
The rebuild system shall be capable of providing two-way interactive services to residential and commercial subscribers. Such services, when commercially viable, may include video on demand and high-speed data transfer. Upon completion of the upgrade, the system may include all necessary distribution electronic equipment required to make two-way operations available to the home. At the time that interactive services are offered by Patriot, converters will be made available to subscribers to enable them to use such two-way technology. The Company agrees to design the cable television system in the Township so that it will meet the design specifications contained in the application in all material respects. The Company agrees that its cable television system shall be capable of supporting state-of-the-art data and high quality video (e.g., HDTV) services or other such services as may be expected during the lifetime of this franchise.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 12]
The Company shall complete and fully activate the system rebuild as described in the application and in this chapter by no later than July 31, 2004.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 13; Ord. No. 2010-20]
At the conclusion of the rebuild specified in Section 23-12 above, the Company shall provide an access channel that shall be utilized for educational access. The Company will make its system available and compatible with the cable television provider in Chatham Borough for the purpose of airing productions of the Chatham School District in both municipalities.
The Company shall also provide and maintain a dedicated digital local access channel for the purpose of cablecasting noncommercial access programming in conformance with the Company's guidelines and applicable State and Federal statutes and regulations. Initial channel installation and origination site equipment costs shall be paid by the Township.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 14]
The Company will fund the provision of the equipment listed below for access video production support for the Township of Chatham and the Chatham School District.
Two professional half-inch CCD DV camcorders with accessories, tripods and dollies;
DV video switcher, color monitors, location lighting kit, wireless microphones, portable audio mixer, cables, cases and wireless intercom headsets;
Digital video editing system consisting of PC-based hardware and DV editing software with workstation.
Any other equipment deemed necessary to fulfill video communications implementation and for access video production support, including but not limited to a character generator.
The Company's obligation to fund the purchase of the equipment listed above is conditioned upon the following:
Patriot is not obligated to expend more than $38,500 toward the purchase of such equipment; and
The Township's development of a video communications implementation plan, which shall establish a program designed to utilize said equipment for the production of local access programming. Said plan shall identify Township and/or School District resources that will be dedicated to the implementation and continuation of said programming, which shall include, but not be limited to, financial resources dedicated to said program, production facilities and persons responsible for oversight of the program.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 15]
To the extent Patriot offers advanced information services, interactive services or new services, including HDTV, in its system, such services shall be available to all Township customers.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 16]
The Company shall comply with all Federal and State regulations pertaining to customer service, including but not limited to, those pertaining to office hours and telephone availability, installations, outages, service interruptions, service calls, billing, billing disputes, service related complaints, notices of changes in rates, programming and channel positions.
As a supplement to and clarification of, and not as a limitation of paragraph a above, Patriot agrees to the following:
During the term of this renewal, Patriot shall maintain a local business office for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters. This office will allow subscribers to drop off or pick up converter equipment and pay or question their bills. The office shall be open during normal business ours, and in no event less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The local business office shall maintain a local or toll-free telephone number and will be equipped to receive all complaints regarding quality of service, billing, equipment malfunctions, installations and similar matters. Patriot shall maintain adequate staff and telephone equipment to keep telephone call response time (time customer is on hold) in conformance with Board regulations.
OCTV is hereby designated as the Municipal Complaint Officer for the Township pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26. All complaints shall be received and processed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.5.
Patriot shall utilize commercially reasonable efforts to repair service outages within 24 hours of their being reported and, if such repair is not made, Patriot shall credit subscribers for service outages in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 14:18-3.5.
Patriot shall provide notice to subscribers and Township officials of changes in rates as required by Federal law and the Cable Television Act.
Patriot shall give due consideration to programming preferences expressed by customers.
Patriot shall provide periodic notice to its subscribers in the Township, informing subscribers and potential subscribers of the procedures and telephone numbers for deletion of services, addressing billing problems, reporting comments or complaints, and advising subscribers of their legal rights with respect to service outages.
Patriot shall maintain a record of service-related complaints concerning its plant and operations as required by N.J.A.C. 14:18-6.2, or as said rules may amended.
Patriot will perform repair services, installations, disconnections and relocations on weekdays, and, when appropriate, on evenings and weekends. The Company will use reasonable efforts to provide customers with "appointment window alternatives" for all service calls, including repair, installation, disconnection and relocation activities, which appointment windows will be, at maximum, four hour time blocks. If Patriot fails to keep a scheduled appointment, the Company will offer the customer priority in rescheduling the appointment.
The Company shall be available to respond to outages and service interruptions 24 hours a day.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 17]
Patriot will implement a senior citizen discount on the monthly limited basic service rate to any person 62 years of age or older. Such discounts shall be subject to the eligibility requirements set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:5A-11.2. The Company has agreed to apply the same discount rate to the disabled who meet the eligibility requirements established by law.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 18]
The Company agrees to provide one standard installation and (i) a converter box (if required), and basic monthly service, and (ii) a cable modem and standard cable modem service to each existing and future public school and/or library in the municipality, free of charge, provided that such school and/or library shall be within the standard installation distance from the Company's existing plant. Currently, there are three schools in the Township: Southern Boulevard School, the High School, and Lafayette School.
Upon request of any public school and/or library in the municipality, the Company agrees to install additional outlets and provide addressable converter boxes on a materials plus labor basis. Monthly service charges shall be charged at the regular tariff rate for additional outlets.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 19]
Patriot's nonstandard installation policy shall be as set forth in Patriot's tariff and in accordance with the requirements of the OCTV.
Patriot shall set out the cost per linear foot to the consumer depending upon whether the subscribe dropline will be installed below ground or above ground. The Company's estimate will also set forth each and every type of equipment that is necessary for the drop-line and what the cost is for the same, as well as the cost for labor.
Nothing herein shall prevent Patriot from offering incentives or other promotional programs that would waive all or any portion of a subscriber's nonstandard installation costs.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 20]
The Township acknowledges that New Jersey municipalities do not currently have authority to regulate the rates the Company charges subscribers for its service. In the event that Federal Law, the Cable Television Act, and/or other applicable law is amended to permit the municipality to exercise regulatory power over rates, the Township reserves the right to exercise such power to the extent permitted by such law(s).
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 21]
In the event Patriot or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street, surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces in the natural topography, Patriot shall, at its sole expense, restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good condition as existed prior to commencement of said work.
In the event that, at any time during the term of this chapter, the Township shall lawfully elect to alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other public way, Patriot, upon reasonable notice by the Township, shall remove, relay and relocate its poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other fixtures at Patriot's own expense.
Patriot shall have the authority to trim trees and overhanging branches upon streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks and public places within the Township so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming into contact with the wires and cables of the Company, provided that prior to undertaking any such trimming activities, Patriot shall consult with and receive permission of the Township's Tree Protection Committee or other designated representative of the Township and shall comply with applicable Township ordinances so as to minimize the detrimental impacts of such trimming activities. Prior to undertaking such trimming activities, Patriot shall notify the property owners in the areas to be affected. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event of an emergency which poses a danger to the health and public safety of the Township, the Company may proceed with such trimming in such manner as to protect persons and property from injury or damage, and provided that the Company shall notify the Township's Tree Protection Committee or other designated representative of the Township as quickly as reasonable under the circumstances.
[Ord. No. 204-010 § 22]
Although nothing herein shall require the Company to carry or transmit any particular programming source, the Company shall provide subscribers in the Township with the same mix, and, at a minimum, the same level of video programming as is now provided to the Company's subscribers in the Township, including the same broad categories of programming, in approximately the same quantity as are now provided.
The Company will advise the Township and its subscribers within the Township of any changes in programming as required by the regulations of the Board.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 23]
Patriot shall be required to have the capability to override the audio portion of the system at the head-end in order to permit the cablecasting of emergency messages by municipal officials, the Police Department or the designee of the governing body, as required by the Federal Communications Commission and consistent with the Emergency Alert System established by the State of New Jersey
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 24]
As required by the Cable Television Act, the Company shall provide a surety bond to the Township, which shall be in the amount of $25,000. Such bond shall be to insure Patriot's faithful performance under this chapter.
The bond required by this chapter shall require 30 days' written notice to the Township prior to any cancellation, nonrenewal or alteration of the bond.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 25]
Patriot shall at all times maintain (I) a comprehensive general liability insurance policy with a single limit amount of $1,000,000 covering liability for any death, personal injury, property damage or other liability arising out of the construction and operation of the cable television system; and (II) an excess liability (umbrella) policy in the amount of $3,000,000. The Township shall be named an additional insured under the policy.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 26]
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 provided same to not conflict with applicable State or Federal law.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 27]
Notwithstanding any specific mention of applicable Federal or State statutes or regulations, the Company shall comply with all of the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal regulations, the Cable Television Act and/or any regulations promulgated thereunder, and any other valid statute, regulations, rule or promulgation.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 28]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter 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 and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 29]
Upon 30 days written request by the Municipality, the Company shall make available representatives to meet with municipal officials for the purpose of reviewing the Company's performance. The Company's representative shall respond to the reasonable requests for information made by the Municipality prior to or at such meeting.
[Ord. No. 2004-010 § 30]
This chapter shall take effect as of the date of final passage in accordance with law.