[Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of Ordinance Nos. 1005 and 1627]
[Ord. No. 04-47 Preamble]
The governing body of the Township of Neptune (hereinafter referred to as the "Township") determined that Cablevision of Monmouth, Inc., (hereinafter referred to as "the Company" or "Cablevision") had the technical competence and general fitness to operate a cable television system in the Township, and by prior ordinance granted its municipal consent for Cablevision to obtain a non-exclusive franchise for the placement of facilities and the establishment of a cable television system in the Township.
By application for renewal consent filed with the Township and the Office of Cable Television on or about July 26, 2002, Cablevision has sought a renewal of the franchise.
The Township having held public hearings has made due inquiry to review Cablevision's performance under the franchise, and to identify the Township's future cable-related needs and interests and has concluded that Cablevision has substantially complied with its obligations under the franchise and has committed to certain undertakings responsive to the Township's future cable-related needs and interests.
The governing body of the Township has accordingly concluded that the consent should be renewed subject to the requirements set forth below; and that, provided Cablevision's proposal for renewal embodies the commitments set forth below, the Township's municipal consent to the renewal of the franchise should be given.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 1]
For the purpose of this chapter 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
- 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, which application is on file in the Township Clerk's office and is incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof, except as modified, changed, limited or altered by this chapter.
- Shall mean the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey or its successor agency.
- Shall mean Cablevision of Monmouth, Inc. ("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. Section 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. Section 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 C.F.R. Section 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 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.
- Shall mean the governing body of the Township of Neptune in the County of Monmouth, and the State of New Jersey.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 2]
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 Township 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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 3]
The Township hereby grants to Cablevision its non-exclusive 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 Township 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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 4]
The consent granted herein shall be non-exclusive and shall be for a term of fifteen (15) years from the date of issuance of a Certificate of Approval by the Board.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 5]
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-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 Township and the Board relative to the renewal of the consent.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 6]
The consent granted under this chapter to Cablevision shall apply to the entirety of the Township and any property hereafter annexed.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 7]
Cablevision shall be required to proffer video programming service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence within the portion of the franchise territory at tariffed rates for standard and nonstandard installation.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 8]
Cablevision shall extend service along any public right-of-way outside its primary service area to those residences within the franchise territory. Cablevision shall extend service to all others pursuant to its Line Extension Policy set forth as Appendix G to the application for municipal consent.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 9]
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Cable Television Act, Cablevision shall pay to the Township, as an annual franchise fee, a sum equal to two (2%) percent 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 Township. In the event applicable law hereinafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, the Township and Cablevision shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 10]
Cablevision shall, upon written request, provide free of charge, one (1) standard installation and monthly cable television reception service to all State or locally accredited elementary and secondary public schools and all municipal public libraries, as well as all municipally owned buildings located within the Township that are used for municipal governmental purposes.
Cablevision shall, upon written request, provide free of charge, one (1) high-speed cable modem and monthly Internet access service, including a standard installation service to one (1) municipally owned building, all State or locally accredited public schools, elementary and secondary private schools and all municipal public libraries, subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the Company.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 11]
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 Township:
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 Township shall remove or relocate its equipment, at its own expense.
Upon request of a person holding a building or moving permit issued by the Township, 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 fourteen (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 Township 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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 12]
Cablevision shall comply with the technical and customer service standards established for the cable industry under applicable Federal and State laws, rules and regulations.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 13]
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. Said office shall also be open one (1) week day evening or one (1) weekend day for not less than three (3) hours.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 14; Ord. No. 07-31 § 1]
The Board of Public Utilities, Office of Cable Television, is hereby designated as the complaint officer for the Township pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26. All complaints shall be reviewed and processed substantially similar to the process set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 15]
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 Township as an additional insured and insuring against loss by any such claim, suit, judgment, execution or demand in the minimum amounts of five hundred thousand ($500,000.00) dollars for bodily injury or death to one (1) person, and one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars for bodily injury or death resulting from any one (1) accident or occurrence stemming from or arising out of the Company's exercise of its rights hereunder.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 16]
Cablevision shall obtain and maintain, at its sole cost and expense, during the entire term of this Agreement, a bond to the municipality in the amount of twenty-five thousand ($25,000.00) dollars. Such bond shall be to insure the faithful performance of its obligations as provided in this franchise.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 17]
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 ten (10%) percent off the monthly rate of the broadcast basic level of cable television reception service to any person sixty-two (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 (1) person in the same household who is less than sixty-two (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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 18]
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 pursuant to State and Federal requirements. The Company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the Township 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 Township shall utilize the State-approved procedures for such emergency uses.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 19]
Cablevision agrees that the capabilities of the cable system shall be maintained technologically current throughout the duration of the franchise, as compared with other communities, of similar size, served by the Company, to the extent economically reasonable and commercially practicable.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 20]
In the event that another multi-channel video program provider's service within the Township creates a significant competitive disadvantage to Cablevision, the Company shall have the right to request from the Township 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 Township 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 Township 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.AC. 14:17-6.7; provided, however, the Township 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 Township has not yet risen to the level of creating a significant competitive disadvantage sufficient to enable the Company to seek relief under this section.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 21]
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 (6) 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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 22]
Cablevision shall continue to make available noncommercial public, educational and governmental (PEG) access as described in the application for municipal consent.
The Township 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 Township 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 Township's provision of PEG access programming on such channel.
In consideration for the rights granted in this chapter, the Company shall provide the Township with a one-time grant of one hundred thousand ($100,000.00) dollars, which may be used by the Township for any cable and/or other telecommunications related purpose as the Township, in its discretion, may deem appropriate.
Cablevision shall provide one (1) access return line at a building to be determined by the Township and located within the municipality, including the modulator and associated signal transmission equipment (but excluding cameras, play back devices and other production related equipment) necessary to allow for upstream programming from this location by the Township for the production of noncommercial public, educational and governmental access programming on the cable system.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 23]
All of the commitments contained in the application and any amendment thereto submitted in writing to the Township 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 chapter by reference and made a part hereof, except as specifically modified, changed, limited, or altered by this chapter, or to the extent that they conflict with State or Federal law.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 24]
This consent shall be construed in a manner consistent with all applicable Federal, State and local laws.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 25]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter 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.
[Ord. No. 04-47 § 26]
This chapter shall take effect upon issuance of a Certificate of Approval as issued by the Board of Public Utilities.