Township of Branchburg, NJ
Somerset County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #81-411; Ord. #93-657]
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of Ordinance No. 2002-889.
[Ord. No. 2013-1216]
Branchburg Township hereby grants to Comcast of Central New Jersey II, LLC renewal of its non-exclusive Municipal Consent to place in, upon, across, above, over and under highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, easements, public ways and public places in Branchburg, 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 Branchburg of a cable television and communications system.
[Ord. No. 2013-1216]
For the purpose of this section, 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 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
Shall mean the New Jersey Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1, et seq.
APPLICATION
Shall mean the Company's Application for Renewal of Municipal Consent.
BOARD
Shall mean the Board of Public Utilities, State of New Jersey.
BRANCHBURG
Shall mean the Township of Branchburg, County of Somerset, State of New Jersey.
COMPANY
Shall mean Comcast of Central New Jersey II, LLC, or any transferee approved by the Board.
EDUCATIONAL ACCESS
Shall mean noncommercial use by educational institutions such as public or private schools, community colleges, and universities, but not "home schools".
FCC
Shall mean the Federal Communications Commission.
FRANCHISE
Shall mean the consent to operate a cable television and communication system granted by this section.
GOVERNMENT ACCESS
Shall mean noncommercial use by governing bodies.
OCTV
Shall mean the Office of Cable Television of the Board.
[Ord. No. 2013-1216]
Public hearings conducted by Branchburg 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 Branchburg, having received at said public hearings all comments regarding the qualifications of the Company to receive this renewal of Municipal Consent, Branchburg 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.
[Ord. No. 2013-1216]
a. 
The non-exclusive Municipal Consent granted herein shall expire 15 years from the date of expiration of the previous Certificate of Approval issued by the Board, as provided by N.J.S.A. 48:5A-19 and 25, and N.J.A.C. 14:18-13.6.
b. 
If Branchburg shall find that the Company have not substantially complied with the material terms and conditions of this section, Branchburg 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 Branchburg shall first have given the Company written notice of all alleged instances of non-compliance and an opportunity to cure same within 90 days of that notification.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act, the Company shall, during each year of operation under the consent granted herein, pay to Branchburg 2% of the gross revenues from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers for cable television reception service in Branchburg or any higher amount permitted by the Act or otherwise allowable by law, whichever is greater.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
The consent granted under this Ordinance to the renewal of the franchise shall apply to the entirety of Branchburg.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
The Company shall offer service along every public right-of- way to every residence and business located in Branchburg. Any extension of service passing a potential of twenty-five dwelling units or more per mile shall be made at the sole cost and expense of the Company. Any extension of service passing a potential of twenty-four dwelling units or less shall be made in accordance with OCTV's line extension policy now or hereafter promulgated whereby the subscribers requesting service and the Company shall each pay a proportional share of the cost.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
a. 
Restoration: If the Company or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways, or other surface in the natural topography, the Company shall, at is 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.
b. 
Relocation: If at any time during the period of this consent, Branchburg shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other way or place, the Company, upon reasonable notice by Branchburg, shall remove, relay or relocate its equipment, at the sole expense of the Company.
c. 
Temporary Removal of Cables: Upon request, the Company shall temporarily move or remove appropriate parts of its facilities to allow for the moving of buildings, and machinery or in other similar circumstances. The expense shall be borne by the party requesting such action, except when requested by Branchburg, in which case the Company shall bear the cost.
d. 
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 Branchburg 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.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
In providing service 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. 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 Branchburg upon written request of Branchburg Township Administrator or Clerk.
a. 
The Company shall continue to comply fully with all applicable State and federal statutes and regulations regarding credit for outages, the reporting of same to regulatory agencies and notification of same to customers.
b. 
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.
c. 
The Company shall use every reasonable effort to meet or exceed voluntary standards for telephone accessibility developed by the National Cable Television Association.
d. 
Nothing herein shall impair the right of any subscriber or Branchburg 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.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
OCT is hereby designated as the Complaint Officer for Branchburg 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. Branchburg shall have the right to request copies of records and reports pertaining to complaints by Municipality customers from the OCTV.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
During the term of this franchise, and any renewal thereof, the Company shall maintain a business office or agent in accordance with N.J.A.C. 14:18-5.1 for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving all local complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions, and similar matters. Such a business office shall have a publicly listed toll-free telephone number and be open during standard business hours, and in no event (excepting emergent circumstances) less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
During the life of the franchise the Company shall give to Branchburg 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 the Application.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
The rates of the Company shall be subject to regulation as permitted by federal and State law.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
a. 
The Company shall provide Total Preferred cable television service on one outlet at no cost to each school in Branchburg, public and private, elementary, intermediate and secondary, provided the school is within 150 feet of nearest active cable distribution plant. Each additional outlet installed, if any, shall be paid for on a materials plus labor basis by the school requesting service. Monthly service charges shall be waived on all additional outlets.
b. 
The Company shall provide Total Preferred cable television service at no cost on one outlet to the Township Municipal Building, each police, fire, emergency management facility and public library in Branchburg, provided the facility is located within 150 feet of nearest active cable distribution plant. Each additional outlet installed, if any, shall be paid for on a materials plus labor basis by Branchburg. Monthly service charges shall be waived on all additional outlets.
c. 
A one-time technology grant of $40,000 to be paid immediately upon the Board issuing the Certificate of Approval.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
a. 
The Company will continue to provide two channels for educational and governmental ("EG") access for the residents of Branchburg. Subject only to the requirements of law, Branchburg shall have complete discretion and flexibility with respect to program content of the EG channels. The Company will provide and maintain the cable, modulators and equipment necessary for the EG channels to send a signal to the Company, and to receive the return feed signal. The Company will not be responsible for the acquisition or maintenance of any studio equipment used for the access channels including, but not limited to cameras, editing decks, monitors, character generators, etc.
b. 
The Company does not relinquish its ownership of or ultimate right of control over a channel by designating it for EG use. An EG access user - whether an educational or government user - acquires no property or other interest by virtue of the use of a channel so designated, and may not rely on the continued use of a particular channel number, no matter how long the same channel may have been designated for such use.
c. 
The Company shall not exercise editorial control over any educational or governmental use of channel capacity, except Company may refuse to transmit any educational or governmental access program or portion of an educational or governmental access program that contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity.
d. 
The governing bodies shall be responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing rules for EG Access.
e. 
Company Use of Fallow Time. Because blank or underutilized EG channels are not in the public interest, if Branchburg or other EG access users elect not to fully program their EG access channel, Company may program unused time on those channels (at its discretion and for any purpose), subject to reclamation by Branchburg upon no less than 60 days' written notice.
f. 
Indemnification. Branchburg shall indemnify the Company for any liability, loss, or damage it may suffer due to violation of the intellectual property rights of third parties on the EG channel and from claims arising out of Branchburg's rules for or administration of access.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
The Company will comply with the Emergency Alert System ("EAS") rules in accordance with applicable State and federal statutes and regulations. The Company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by Branchburg or any other person, during an emergency, if for any reason Branchburg is unable to make full use of the cable television system as contemplated herein.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
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 $5,000,000.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
All of the statements and commitments contained in the Application or annexed thereto and incorporated therein, and any amendment thereto, except as modified herein, are binding upon the Company as terms and conditions of this consent.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
Should Branchburg grant a franchise to construct, operate and maintain a cable television system to any other person, corporation or entity on terms materially less burdensome or more favorable than the terms contained herein, the Company may substitute such language that is more favorable or less burdensome for the comparable provision of this Ordinance subject to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this section 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.
[Ord. No. 2012-1216]
Nothing in this Franchise or in any prior agreement is or was intended to confer third-party beneficiary status on any member of the public to enforce the terms of such agreements or Franchise.