[Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 176 granted Monmouth Cablevision Associates a franchise agreement in February, 1980. Ord. No. 348 grants consent to the refranchisement of Cablevision of Monmouth, Inc. In August of 2010, the N.J. Board of Public Utilities granted a system-wide franchise for a term expiring January 11, 2017.]
[Ord. No. 348 § 1]
The purpose of this chapter is to issue a municipal consent to the refranchisement of Cablevision of Monmouth, Inc. ("Cablevision") in the Borough of Interlaken, and to establish the terms and conditions of the consent, pursuant to the applicable law.
[Ord. No. 348 § 2]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. Such meaning or definition of the Federal Communications Commission, F.C.C. rules and regulations, 47 C.F.R. subsection 76.1 et seq. and the Cable Communications Policy Act, 47 U.S.C. 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 or State definitions:
- ACT OR CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- Shall mean Chapter 186 of the General Laws of New Jersey, 1972 and subsequent amendments thereto, Section 48:5A-1 et seq.
- ADDITIONAL CHANNEL
- Shall mean those channels not included in the definitions below.
- Shall mean the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey or any successor agency.
- Shall mean the grantee of rights under this chapter and is known as Cablevision of Monmouth, Inc. ("Cablevision").
- EDUCATION CHANNEL
- Shall mean those channels that are used or reserved for use by education authorities and use.
- Shall mean the Federal Communication Commission or any successor agency.
- MUNICIPAL CHANNEL
- Shall mean those channels on the system which are used or reserved for use by the municipality and its agencies.
- Shall mean the Borough of Interlaken, County of Monmouth, in the State of New Jersey.
- Shall mean the office of Cable Television established by the Cable Television Act.
- PUBLIC CHANNEL
- Shall mean those channels that are used or reserved for use by members of the public.
- Shall mean the streets, avenues, highways, parks, parkways, driveways, concourses, boulevards, bridges, via-ducts, tunnels, places or any property to which a municipality has title or the public has an easement or right-of-way.
- Shall mean a person or organization whose premises are physically wired and connected to the Company facilities or receive Company transmissions.
[Ord. No. 348 § 3]
The Municipality hereby grants to the Company its non-exclusive consent to place in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways, and public places in the Municipality poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other television conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Municipality of a cable television system and cable communications system. Construction pursuant to the consent is conditioned upon prior approval of the Board.
[Ord. No. 348 § 4]
Public hearings concerning the consent herein granted to the Company were held after proper notice pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act. The hearings having been held as above stated and the hearings having been fully open to the public, and the Municipality having received at the hearings all comments regarding the qualifications of the Company to receive this consent, the Municipality hereby finds 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.
[Ord. No. 348 § 5]
The consent herein granted shall expire 10 years from the date of the expiration of the original Certificate of Approval as issued by the Board.
[Ord. No. 348 § 6]
If the Company seeks a successive consent it shall, prior to the expiration of the consent, apply for a municipal consent and Certificate of Approval in accordance with the Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-11 and 16 and applicable State and Federal rules and regulations. The Company shall also petition the Board for a Certificate of 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 municipal Governing Body relative to the renewal of the consent.
[Ord. No. 348 § 7]
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 Municipality 2% of the gross revenues from all changes in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers to its cable television reception service in the Municipality or any amount permitted by the New Jersey Cable Television Act or otherwise allowed by law.
The Company shall on or before the 25th day of January each year file with the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Municipality a statement verified by oath, showing the gross subscriber revenues and shall at the same time pay thereon to the Chief Fiscal Officer the 2% charge hereby imposed as a yearly franchise revenue for the use of the streets.
The Company shall be required to proffer service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence located in the franchise territory at no charge beyond standard and nonstandard installation rates.
In the event that the Company or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces in the natural topography, the Company shall at its sole expense restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good condition as existed prior to the commencement of the 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 Municipality shall remove, re-lay and relocate its equipment, at the expense of the Company.
The Company shall temporarily move or remove appropriate parts of its facilities to allow moving of buildings, machinery or in other similar circumstances. The expense shall be borne by the party requesting such action except when requested by the Municipality, in which case the Company shall bear the cost.
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 Municipality so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cables of the Company. Such trimming shall be only to the extent reasonable necessary to maintain proper clearance for the company's facilities.
The consent granted herein to the Company shall apply to all portions of the Borough of Interlaken.
[Ord. No. 348 § 8]
During the term of this franchise, and any renewal thereof, the Company shall maintain in or within reasonable proximity of its service area, 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. — 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, Company shall maintain a 24 hour, seven days a week, telephone communications system to receive complaints regarding quality of service or service outages and similar matters. Company shall strive to improve communications between itself and subscribers. Complaints of subscribers shall be addressed by Company in a timely fashion.
[Ord. No. 348 § 9]
The Office of Cable Television is hereby designated as a Complaint Officer for the Municipality of Interlaken 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.
[Ord. No. 348 § 10]
No person shall be required to receive the services of the Company, and any person who shall agree to receive such services of the Company may at his election at any time terminate the services of the Company without charge or cost except for a continuing liability to pay any unpaid charges incurred to the time of termination.
[Ord. No. 348 § 11]
To secure its faithful performance of its obligation under a renewal of the franchise during the renewal term, the Company shall provide a performance bond, in the penal sum of $25,000. Such bond shall specifically insure and secure the faithful performance of all undertakings of the Company as represented in the application incorporated herein and in the other commitments made by the Company. The Municipality reserves the right by resolution to require a reasonable increase in the amount of the bond, subject to review by the office and approval by the Board, herein.
[Ord. No. 348 § 12]
The Municipality, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 543, has no jurisdiction over rates. Accordingly, the Municipality makes no determination as to the reasonableness of the rates proposed.
[Ord. No. 348 § 13]
The basic service includes those channels which the Company is required to carry by F.C.C. rules.
The cable operator shall provide access time to noncommercial public, governmental and educational entities to the extent such access was promised to the Municipality as stated in the application which is incorporated herein, and as stated hereinafter.
[Ord. No. 348 § 14]
Facilities and Equipment.
In transmitting its television signals to subscribers in the Municipality, the Company shall provide a quality of signal that is at least as good as that customarily provided under prevailing industry standards. The Company shall comply with any requirements imposed by the Federal regulations and (to the extent not preempted by Federal law) any standard regulations relating to technical standards for the transmission of television signals, transmission quality or facilities and equipment.
As soon as practicable after any source of television programming or signals ("programming source") carried by the Company commences the transmission of at least 50% of its programming day utilizing an MTS (stereo) signal, the Company shall, unless compelling reasons dictate otherwise, complete any necessary steps to effect its retransmission of such programming service with an MTS signal.
The Company shall cause construction plans relating to work on major extensions of the Company plant or work which could have a significant impact on public works within the Municipality to be filed with the Municipal Clerk.
In order to maintain its level of telephone accessibility for calls relating to maintenance and repairs ("service"), and to improve service for calls relating to installation, addition or deletion of programming services and other customer inquiries ("business"), the Company shall do the following:
The Company shall comply with any and all properly adopted rules, regulations of the officer or other regulatory bodies insofar as they apply to telephone accessibility.
The Company shall meet with the Municipality or its authorized representatives on a semiannual basis to discuss the adequacy or inadequacy of the Company's customer service, including telephone accessibility to Municipality subscribers. Such meetings shall be held at the request of the Municipality upon reasonable written notice to the Company. If it is mutually agreed at such meeting by the parties that improvement to telephone accessibility is necessary, then the Company shall use its best efforts in improving such accessibility within a reasonable amount of time.
Nothing herein shall impair the right of any subscriber of the Municipality to express any comment or complaint with respect to telephone accessibility to the complaint officer, or impair the right of the complaint officer to take any action which is appropriate under law.
During the renewal term, the Company shall maintain a local office as required herein.
The Company shall maintain a telephone number by which subscribers wishing to communicate with the Company by day or evening for any reason can reach it, by a toll free telephone call, and as to which the provisions of the proceeding sections shall apply. The toll free number shall be published in every monthly bill and, if available, in the Company's monthly cable guide, and
In the event of major technical changeovers of converter equipment affecting the majority of subscribers, where such changeover of equipment is necessary for such subscribers to maintain their current level of service, the Company shall exchange such equipment for the subscriber at the local office (and to the extent necessary, at night and on Saturday), at no cost to the subscriber.
Before sending out any questionnaire which will go exclusively to subscribers in the Municipality, which questionnaire concerns subscribers in the Municipality, with respect to subscriber experiences, preferences or views, the Company shall provide the Municipality or its designee a reasonable opportunity to suggest revisions or matters for inclusion. The Company shall provide the Municipality or its designee a reasonable opportunity to suggest revisions or matters for inclusion. The Company shall provide the Municipality or its designee with access to the questionnaire and any summaries or compilations of such responses permitted within the subscriber privacy provisions of Federal law.
The Company shall provide within its cable guide each month in which it causes any such guide to be published, by means of its televised bulletin boards (or any other channels it uses for such announcements), through commercials at reasonable intervals, by press releases at reasonable intervals for delivery to local newspapers distributed in the Municipality or by other means which are reasonable in quantity and quality, information informing subscribers and potential subscribers of the most efficient procedures and telephone numbers for requesting installation, repairs and the addition or deletion of services, for addressing billing problems and for reporting comments or complaints.
At the request of Municipality, the Company and the Municipality's designee shall meet at least semiannually to review all matters relating to cable television in the Municipality, with the minutes of such meetings to be delivered to the Company and be filed with the Municipality.
The Company shall credit the accounts of company subscribers affected by service outages pursuant to any and all properly adopted rules, regulations of the office or applicable State or Federal statutes.
Locally Originated Programming.
The Company shall make available at least two channels for purposes such as public, educational and government (PEG) use, as set forth in the application, to the Municipality. The Company shall be deemed to have satisfied such obligation if the PEG channels are shared by the Municipality with other municipalities. Subject only to the requirements of law, any Company requirements that PEG programming be of a noncommercial nature and may need for the sharing municipalities to cooperate in programming origination, the Municipality shall have full discretion and flexibility with respect to program content, its use of the PEG channels, provided that all such programming shall comply with applicable statutes, rules and regulations. It shall be understood that views expressed on PEG channels shall not be deemed to be the views of the Company, and it shall not be responsible for the content of PEG programming or for views expressed on the programming produced.
The Company shall take any steps which are reasonably necessary to ensure that the signals transmitted on the PEG channels are carried without material degradation and that, to the extent the PEG channels' programming is originated with a signal whose quality meets accepted industry standards, it is equal to that of other channels the Company transmits.
The Company will produce, at its expense and upon request of the Municipality, three programs on an annual basis for the Municipality, provided that the Company is given at least 30 days notice. Such programs shall be aired on the local access channel. The Municipal Clerk shall act as the contact person between the Municipality and Company with respect to such matters. Municipality residents who want the Company to produce a program must present their ideas to the Municipal Clerk who will clear it with the Company. The Municipal Clerk must approve, in writing, any program the Company wants to count towards its obligation under this subsection.
Subject to the provisions herein, and under supervision, if required, the Company shall lend to the Municipality, including but not limited to interviews with the Municipal officials and sporting events involving Municipal teams, which are in the Company's possession or control and which have been previously shown on the Company channel or such other channel the Company uses for its own originated programming, provided that the Company may withhold such videotapes on reasonable grounds, including but not limited to the rights of copyright holders or its other commitments with respect to such programming.
The Company shall continue its procedure for designating a Company employee as responsible for taking and addressing comments or complaints with respect to the quality of the PEG designees' transmissions.
Notice. The Company shall provide written notice to the Municipality as may be required by any and all properly adopted rules, regulations of the office of State or Federal statutes.
Most Favored Municipality. Within six months of the final adoption of this chapter, should the Company enter into a franchise agreement with any neighboring municipality for a similar 10 year duration or less, and the neighboring municipality acquires more favorable terms than the Municipality, the Company shall offer the same terms to the Municipality.
Compliance with Law. Notwithstanding any specific mention of applicable Federal or State statutes or regulations above, the Company shall comply with all of the requirements of the Federal Act, the Federal regulations, the State Act and State regulations (to the extent—not preempted) and any other valid statute, regulations or rule, specifically including, but without limitation, those relating to equal employment opportunity.
[Ord. No. 348 § 15]
The Municipality will not regulate the rates the Company may charge subscribers for its service, provided that, in the event that the Federal Act and other applicable law hereafter is 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.
The Company shall implement a senior citizens' rate discount as described in its pre-published price schedule to any person 62 years of age or older who subscribes to cable services and does not share the subscription with more than one other person in the same household who is less than 62 years of age. Such subscribers must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled Program pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-20.
The Company shall apply the same discount rate as stated in paragraph b above to the disabled.
[Ord. No. 348 § 16]
Although nothing herein shall require the Company to carry or transmit any particular television stations or programming source, the Company shall provide the subscribers in the Municipality with at least the same broad categories of programming, in approximately the same quantity, as are now provided and which appear in the application.
The Company shall comply with any State law or regulation with respect to maintaining space for a Statewide interconnect channel.
[Ord. No. 348 § 17]
The Company shall immediately provide the standard installation of three outlets, lifelines and premium level of monthly service with courtesy accounts to three rooms of the Municipality's choice in the municipal owned facility known as the Borough Hall, located in the Municipality completely free of charge (including installation, service and maintenance). Monthly service on other such additional outlets shall be charged at the regularly tariffed rates for additional outlets. In addition, Company shall reimburse and make immediate payment to the Municipality in the amount of $1,200 in lieu of directly providing the Municipality with three monitors and other video equipment offered by the Company which amount shall be used by the Municipality for either reimbursement of purchasing or to purchase the aforesaid equipment.
[Ord. No. 348 § 18]
Unless otherwise provided by law, in the event that a predominant number of the municipalities within the Company's service agree to participate in an emergency use system, the Company 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 Municipality. 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 Municipality shall establish reasonable procedures for such emergency uses.
[Ord. No. 348 § 19]
The Company shall indemnify, protect and save the Municipality harmless from and against losses and physical damages to property, including those properties owned or under the control of the Municipality, and bodily injury or death of persons, including payments made under any Workmen's Compensation Law, which may arise out of or be caused by the Company's negligence in the construction, location, installation, operation, erection, maintenance, presence, repair, replacement, removal or use of the cable television system within the Municipality, contemplated by this franchise or by any act or omission of the Company, its agents or employees.
The Company shall maintain, at all times during the term of the franchise, liability insurance naming the Municipality as an insured and providing insurance coverage against all claims, demands, actions, judgments, costs, expenses and liabilities which may arise or result, directly or indirectly, from or by reason of any loss, injury or damage related to the Company's operation of its cable television system. The amounts of such insurance against liability due to physical damages to property or bodily injury or death to any one person shall be not less than one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars and not less than one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars to any accident and an excess liability or "umbrella" policy in the amount of five million ($5,000,000.00) dollars.
The Company shall also carry such insurance as it deems necessary to protect it from all claims under the Workmen's Compensation Laws in effect, that may be applicable to the franchise.
All insurance required by this chapter shall be and remain in full force and effect for the entire life of this franchise. A certificate of insurance must be submitted to the Municipal Clerk to review for compliance with above-mentioned limits of liability. The policy or policies of insurance or certificate of insurance shall be deposited with and kept on file by the Municipal Clerk and the Municipality shall be named insured on the policies. The insurer shall notify the Municipality at least 30 days prior to its intention to cancel any policy. The insurer further shall certify to the Municipality the fact of renewal of every such insurance policy at least 15 days prior to the expiration date.
[Ord. No. 348 § 20]
During the term hereof, Company shall maintain a fully staffed and fully equipped television and video programming studio which will be completely accessible to residents of the Municipality for training, educational purposes, technical assistance and use of equipment and facilities for purposes including but not limited to the production and creation of video programs.
[Ord. No. 348 § 21]
All of the statements and commitments contained in the application and any amendment thereto submitted in writing by the Company to the Municipality, except as modified herein, are binding upon the Company as terms and conditions of this consent. The application and any other relevant writings submitted by the Company shall be annexed hereto and made a part hereof by reference as long as same does not conflict with State or Federal law.
[Ord. No. 348 § 22]
The Company shall be bound by the terms and provisions of its ordinance irrespective of the number of subscribers to its system.
[Ord. No. 348 § 23]
Should any of the Federal and State statutes or operations applicable to the regulation of cable television be modified in any way, such modifications shall be incorporated herein and shall serve to modify the terms of this agreement. To the extent that any such modification places limits on permissible terms and conditions and any provision of this chapter becomes invalid by virtue of such modification, the following subsection 21-24 shall apply.
[Ord. No. 348 § 24]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter 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 such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion hereof.