[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Boonton 6-14-2010 by Ord. No. 777. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. A181, Cable Television Franchise, adopted 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 470.
For the purpose of this ordinance, 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
- 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.
- 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 ordinance.
- The Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey or its successor agency.
- CSC TKR, LLC d/b/a Cablevision of Morris ("Cablevision"), the grantee of rights under this ordinance.
- 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. and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, or as those statutes may be amended.
- FEDERAL REGULATIONS
- Those federal regulations relating to cable television services, 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.
- STANDARD INSTALLATION
- The installation of drop cable to a customer's premises where the distance from the point of entry into the building being served is less than 150 feet from the active cable television system plant.
- The State of New Jersey.
- STATE REGULATIONS
- 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 14:18-1 et seq., or as such regulations may be amended.
- The governing body of the Township of Boonton in the County of Morris, and the State of New Jersey.
Editor's Note: Refer to the preamble of Ord. No. 777, on file in the Township offices.
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.
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 or other communications facility, and for the provision of any communication service over such facilities 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.
This consent granted herein shall be non-exclusive and shall be for a term of 15 years from the date of issuance of a certificate of approval by the Board.
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. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-25.1, both the Township and Cablevision shall be bound by the terms of this municipal consent until such time as Cablevision converts the municipal consent (and any certificate of approval) into a system-wide franchise.
The consent granted under this ordinance to Cablevision shall apply to the entirety of the Township and any property hereafter annexed.
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, as described in the application for municipal consent, at Cablevision's schedule of rates for standard and nonstandard installation.
Cablevision shall extend service along any public right-of-way outside its service area to those residences within the franchise territory which are located in areas that have a residential density of 25 homes per mile or greater, or areas with less than 25 homes per mile where residents agree to share the costs of such extension in accordance with the line extension formula as provided by the company in its application for municipal consent.
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 2% 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; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to permit the Township to require payment of a franchise fee by Cablevision that is higher than the fee paid by all other cable television service providers offering service in the municipality.
Cablevision shall, upon written request, provide free of charge one standard installation and monthly cable television reception service to all state or locally accredited public schools and all municipal public libraries, as well as municipal buildings located within the Township, including the fire house and satellite fire house, as set forth in the municipal application.
Upon written request from the Township, the company shall provide to state and locally accredited elementary and secondary schools and municipal public libraries in the Township, without charge, the following: one standard installation per school or library; one cable modem per installation; and basic cable modem service for the term of this ordinance for each installation. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company, as those policies may exist from time to time.
The company shall continue to provide to the Township, without charge at one designated location, the following: one standard installation; one cable modem; and basic cable modem service for the term of this ordinance. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company as those policies may exist from time to time.
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 cable 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 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.
Cablevision shall comply with the technical and customer service standards established for the cable industry under applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations.
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.
The 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 in accordance with N.J.A.C.14:17-6.5.
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 $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death to one person, and $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death resulting from any one accident or occurrence stemming from or arising out of the company's exercise of its rights hereunder. The company shall also maintain an excess liability policy in the amount of $5,000,000.
Cablevision shall indemnify, protect and save the Township harmless from and against losses and physical damages to property, including those properties owned or under the control of the Township, and bodily injury or death of persons, including payments made under any workers' compensation law, which may arise out of or be caused by the construction, location, installation, operation, erection, maintenance, repair, replacement, removal or use of the cable television system within the Township contemplated by this franchise or by any act of the company, its agents or employees; provided, however, that the company shall not be required to indemnify, protect and save harmless for any losses and physical damages and bodily injury or death of persons which may arise out of or be caused by the negligent acts or omissions of the Township, its agents or employees.
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 $25,000. Such bond shall be to insure the faithful performance of its obligations as provided in this franchise.
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 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 Township 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.
In the event that the service of another multichannel video program provider not subject to the Township's regulatory authority 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.A.C. 14:17-6.7; provided, however, the Township shall be under no obligation to support Cablevision's request for such relief from the Board.
In any subsequent municipal consent, the Township shall require, at a minimum, the same terms and conditions of any other provider of multichannel video programming subject to the Town's regulatory authority as those contained in the initial consent. In the event such subsequent consent does not contain the same terms and conditions as the initial consent, 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 to relieve the company of competitive disadvantages identified in the company's petition.
Upon expiration, termination or revocation of this ordinance, 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 cable services authorized herein, unless Cablevision, its affiliated entities or assignees should, within six 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.
Cablevision shall continue to make available non-commercial public, educational and governmental (PEG) access services available to the residents of the Township as described in the application for municipal consent. All Cablevision support for PEG access shall be for the exclusive benefit of Cablevision's subscribers.
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.
Cablevision shall have discretion to determine the format and method of transmission of the PEG access programming provided for in this section.
Cablevision shall provide the Township with a one-time technology grant of $15,000. Cablevision shall provide an initial grant payment of $1,000 within 90 days of the issuance of the certificate of approval by the Board of Public Utilities. The remaining grant of $14,000 shall be provided in annual installments of $1,000, within 90 days of receipt of the written request by the Township (the "annual grant"). The Township may utilize the grant for any cable and/or other telecommunications purposes, provided such uses are lawful and consistent with the terms of this ordinance; and if used to purchase communications services, the Township shall seek to purchase such services from the company or its affiliates, if offered. The company shall have no further obligation to provide any technology grant payments due and payable after the date upon which the company converts the municipal consent granted herein to a system-wide franchise in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-25.1.
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 ordinance by reference and made a part hereof, except as specifically modified, changed, limited, or altered by this ordinance, or to the extent that they conflict with state or federal law.
This consent shall be construed in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state and local laws, as such laws, rules and regulations may be amended from time to time.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance 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.
Notices required under this ordinance shall be in writing and shall be mailed, first class, postage prepaid, to the addresses below. Either party may change the place where notice is to be given by providing such change in writing at least 30 days prior to the time such change becomes effective. The time to respond to notices under this ordinance shall run from receipt of such written notice. Notices to the company shall be mailed to:
This ordinance shall take effect upon issuance of a certificate of approval as issued by the Board of Public Utilities that incorporates the material terms of this ordinance. Nothing herein shall alter the right of the company to seek modification of this ordinance in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-47 and N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.7.