City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 12-17-1991 by Ord. No. 91-532. (This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 4A, Cable Television, adopted 10-24-1978 by Ord. 78-550, as amended.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public welfare, regulate the use of the public streets and encourage the development and growth of cable and noncable services by providing standards and procedures for the construction, maintenance and operation of any cable system in the City of Rochester.
Whenever the following words and phrases are used in this chapter, they shall have the following meanings:
CABLE OPERATOR
Any person or group of persons who provide cable service over a cable system and directly or through one or more affiliates owns a significant interest in such cable system or who otherwise controls or is responsible for, through any arrangement, the management and operation of a cable system.
CABLE SERVICE
The one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming, meaning programming provided by or comparable to programming provided by a television broadcast station, or other programming service, meaning information that a cable operator makes available to all subscribers generally, together with subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of all such programming.
CABLE SYSTEM
A facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception and control equipment, that is designed to provide cable service to multiple subscribers within a community. This term does not include a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; a facility that serves only subscribers in one or more multiple-unit dwellings under common ownership, control or management, unless such facility uses any public right-of-way; a facility of a common carrier which is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of Title II of the Communications Policy Act of 1934, except that such facility shall be considered as a cable system to the extent such facility is used in transmission of video programming directly to subscribers; or any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operating its electric utility system.
CHANNEL
A band of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum capable of carrying one television signal and any number of nonvideo signals.
CITY
The City of Rochester, New York.
CITY COUNCIL
The Common Council of the City of Rochester, New York.
CONSTRUCTION
Any activity that physically invades and encumbers any public street, land or place within the City or the space over or under such street, land or place, including the reconstruction, rebuild or upgrade of a cable system.
FRANCHISE
Any right and privilege or the renewal thereof awarded or granted by the City Council pursuant to § 5-23 and 5-24 of the City Charter and this chapter to a cable operator for the purpose of constructing, operating and maintaining a cable system within the City.
FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
An agreement containing terms and conditions relating to a franchise, executed by the Mayor and an authorized representative of the cable operator.
FRANCHISEE
Any person that is awarded a franchise to construct, operate and maintain a cable system within the City.
GROSS REVENUES
All cash, credits, property of any kind or nature or other consideration actually received directly or indirectly by a franchisee, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parent and any person, firm or corporation in which a franchisee has a financial interest, or from any source whatsoever, arising from or attributable to the sale or exchange of cable and noncable services by a franchisee within the City or in any way derived from the operation of its cable system within the City, including but not limited to all cable and noncable service fees, pay television and pay-per-view fees, leased channel fees, converter rentals or sales, studio rentals, and advertising revenues, without any deduction whatsoever, except that gross revenues shall not include converter deposits, franchise fees, the amount of the annual grant for public access, refunds to subscribers by a franchisee or receipts from sales or use taxes or any other tax that a franchisee collects on behalf of any taxing authority.
MAYOR
The Mayor of the City of Rochester or the Mayor's designee.
NONCABLE SERVICES
Any communication service other than cable service transmitted in one or two directions on the cable system, including by way of example but not limited to video and/or voice conferencing, data or other electronic intelligence processing, home shopping, alarms, facsimile reproduction and meter reading.
PERSON
Any individual, association, firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity, but not the City government.
STREET
Any public right-of-way or other public lands or places within the City over which the City has sufficient control to grant a franchise.
SUBSCRIBER
A purchaser of any service that a franchisee delivers on its cable system.
A. 
No person shall own, construct or operate a cable system in the City, unless the City has granted a franchise to that person pursuant to the provisions of the City Charter and this chapter.
B. 
Any franchise granted hereunder shall be nonexclusive, and the City reserves the right to grant a similar franchise to any other persons, at any time, pursuant to the provisions of the City Charter and this chapter, as they may be amended from time to time.
C. 
If not prohibited by law, a, franchise shall include the right and privilege to provide noncable service, and the City reserves the authority and power to regulate the provision of such service to the extent the City has or is granted such authority and power.
The term of any franchise shall be no less than 10 nor more than 15 years from the date established in the ordinance awarding the franchise.
A. 
A franchisee shall pay the City an annual franchise fee expressed as a percentage of gross revenues, not to exceed the maximum percentage permitted by applicable federal and state law, as contained in the franchise agreement.
B. 
In the event that the franchise fee is not paid by the due date specified in the franchise agreement, the unpaid portion shall be subject to a penalty of 1 1/2% per month, simple interest, until paid.
A franchise may be renewed by the City pursuant to the procedures established in this section and applicable federal and state law and regulations.
A. 
During the six-month period which begins with the 36th month before the expiration of the franchise, the City may, on its own initiative, and shall, at the request of a franchisee, commence proceedings which afford the public in the franchise area appropriate notice and participation for the purposes of:
(1) 
Identifying future cable-related community needs and interests; and
(2) 
Reviewing the performance of the franchisee under the franchise during the then current franchise term.
B. 
Proposals for renewal.
(1) 
Upon completion of such proceedings, the franchisee may submit a proposal for renewal. Upon the request of the City a franchisee shall submit a proposal for renewal.
(2) 
Any such proposal shall contain such material as the City may require, including proposals for an upgrade of the cable system.
(3) 
The City may establish a date by which any such proposal shall be submitted.
C. 
Renewal; administrative proceedings.
(1) 
Upon submittal of a proposal for the renewal of a franchise, the City shall provide prompt public notice of such proposal and, during the four-month period which begins on the completion of any proceedings under Subsection A, shall either renew the franchise or issue a preliminary assessment that the franchise should not be renewed and commence at the request of the franchisee or on its own initiative an administrative proceeding to consider whether:
(a) 
The franchisee has substantially complied with the material provisions of this chapter and the existing franchise agreement and with other applicable law;
(b) 
The quality of the franchisee's entire cable service, except for the mix, quality and level of specific programming or other services provided over the system, has been reasonable in light of community needs;
(c) 
The franchisee has the financial, legal and technical ability to provide the cable services, facilities and equipment as set forth in the proposal; and
(d) 
The proposal is reasonable to meet future cable-related community needs and interests, taking into account the cost of meeting such needs and interests.
(2) 
In any administrative proceeding, the franchisee and the public shall be afforded notice, and the franchisee and the City shall be afforded fair opportunity for full participation, including the right to introduce evidence, to require the production of evidence and to question witnesses, related to the factors set forth in Subsection C(1). A transcript shall be made of any such proceeding.
(3) 
At the completion of an administrative proceeding, the City shall issue a written decision granting or denying the proposal for renewal based upon the record of such proceeding and shall transmit a certified copy of such decision to the franchisee. Such decision shall state the reasons therefor.
D. 
Any refusal to renew a franchise or denial of a proposal for renewal shall be based only on one or more adverse findings made with respect to the factors set forth in Subsection C(1), based upon the record of such proceeding. The City may not base a refusal to renew or a denial of renewal upon factors in Subsection C(1)(a) and (b) unless the City has given a franchisee notice of and an opportunity to cure violations or problems or has waived, in writing, its right to object to, or it is adequately documented that the City has effectively acquiesced in, such violations and problems.
E. 
If a franchisee's proposal for renewal has been denied by a final decision of the City made pursuant to this section or if a franchisee has been adversely affected by a failure of the City to act in accordance with the procedural requirements of this section, the franchisee may seek review of such final decision within 120 days of the date of the issuance of the decision either in Federal District Court for the Western District of New York or in Supreme Court in Monroe County. The Court shall grant appropriate relief if it finds that any action of the City is not in substantial compliance with the procedural requirements of this section or that the denial of the renewal proposal by the City is not supported by substantial evidence based on the record of the proceeding conducted under this section.
F. 
Any decision of the City on a proposal for renewal shall not be considered final unless all administrative review by the State of New York has occurred or the opportunity therefor has lapsed.
G. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a franchisee may submit a proposal for the renewal of a franchise at any time, and the City may, after affording the public adequate notice and opportunity for comment, grant or deny such proposal at any time, including after proceedings pursuant to this section have commenced. The provisions of this § 4A-6A through F shall not apply to a decision to grant or deny a proposal under this subsection. The denial of a proposal for renewal pursuant to this subsection shall not affect action on a renewal proposal that is submitted in accordance with Subsections A through F of this section.
In addition to all other rights and remedies retained by the City under this chapter or otherwise, the City shall have the right to revoke a franchise and all rights and privileges of a franchisee if the franchisee has made a material misrepresentation of fact during the franchise application or renewal process or fails to comply substantially with any material provision of this chapter or the franchise agreement or any reasonable order, direction or permit that is properly issued by the City. The City shall not have the right to revoke a franchise if a material misrepresentation or breach occurs without any fault of a franchisee or occurs as a result of circumstances beyond a franchisee's control; provided, however, that no material misrepresentation or breach shall be excused by economic hardship or by the misfeasance or malfeasance of a franchisee's directors, officers, employees or agents. Revocation shall be by ordinance of the City Council, duly adopted by 3/4 of all the members of the Council, in accordance with the following procedures:
A. 
The Mayor shall notify, in writing, the franchisee of the alleged misrepresentation or failure of compliance, setting forth the reasons why he or she believes that the misrepresentation or failure is material and substantial. The franchisee shall have 30 days subsequent to receipt of the notice to address the misrepresentation or correct the failure and respond to the Mayor, unless the time is extended by the Mayor for good cause shown by the franchisee.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
B. 
Within 30 days of receipt of the franchisee's response or if the franchisee fails to respond, the Mayor, if he or she concludes that a basis for revocation still exists, shall notify the franchisee in writing of his or her conclusion and recommend revocation upon stated grounds to the City Council.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
C. 
Within 30 days of the receipt of the Mayor's recommendation, the City Council shall hold a public hearing upon reasonable notice and affording due process to consider revocation. At the public hearing, the franchisee shall be given an opportunity to address the grounds for revocation. Any other interested person may speak at the public hearing. There shall be a stenographic record of the public hearing. The City Council shall, within 21 days of the hearing, either determine not to revoke the franchise or, upon stated grounds, revoke the franchise absolutely or conditionally or remand the matter to the Mayor to impose penalties pursuant to § 4A-26.
A. 
No assignment by a franchisee of its franchise shall be made without the prior approval of the City Council by an ordinance duly adopted by 3/4 of all the members of the Council. Such approval shall not be withheld unreasonably. The proposed transferee must show technical ability, financial capability, legal qualifications and general character qualifications as determined by the City and must agree to comply with all provisions of this chapter and the franchise agreement and such additional conditions as may be prescribed by the City Council expressed in the ordinance.
B. 
Any single transfer of 10% or more of a franchisee's ownership, be it by stock or partnership interest, shall be reported to the Mayor within 30 days after the consummation of the transfer.
C. 
Any transfer of the controlling interest in a franchisee, either de facto or de jure, shall automatically terminate a franchise granted to the franchisee, unless the franchisee seeks and obtains approval of the transfer by the City Council within three months after the effective date of the transfer. Such approval shall be by ordinance duly adopted by 3/4 of all the members of the Council.
D. 
Any combination of single transfers of the equity ownership of a franchisee or its parent, within any six-month period, that aggregates 25% or more of such ownership shall create a rebuttable presumption of de facto transfer of control and shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection C above.
E. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no approval of the City Council shall be required if a franchisee assigns or transfers its franchise to any parent of the franchisee or to a partnership in which any parent holds the majority interest and is also the general and managing partner. For the purposes of this subsection, "parent" shall mean a corporate entity that owns at least 51% of the stock either of the franchisee or of another corporate entity that owns at least 51% of the stock of the franchisee at the time the franchise is granted or renewed.
F. 
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit a mortgage or pledge of a franchise, the system, a franchisee's equity ownership or any part thereof for the purpose of securing debt capital.
G. 
Failure of a franchisee to comply with the provisions of this section shall be deemed automatic and immediate revocation of the franchise.
Upon the commencement of proceedings to foreclose or judicially sell all or any part of the cable system, a franchisee shall immediately notify the Mayor, in writing, of such fact, and the approval of 3/4 of all the members of the City Council to transfer control of the franchise shall be required.
In order to pursue the governmental purposes set forth in § 4A-1 and to ensure adequate and uninterrupted cable television service, in the event that a franchisee or any parent organization of a franchisee seeks protection from creditors in any judicial forum, including filing a petition in bankruptcy, or is involuntarily placed in bankruptcy or receivership, the Corporation Council shall immediately seek an order compelling assumption or rejection of the franchise agreement and providing that no assumption shall be effective unless any default is cured and adequate assurance is provided for future performance of the franchise agreement. No assignment of the franchise agreement to any entity shall be permitted unless the City Council shall, in its discretion, find such entity to be technically, financially and legally qualified as a cable operation, nor shall any such assignment contain provisions less stringent or less beneficial to the subscribers and the City than those set forth in the franchise agreement. The City shall retain the right to pursue any and all other remedies which may be available under federal or state law at the time of such occurrence.
A. 
Any franchisee is hereby granted the right and privilege and an easement to construct, erect, place, operate, repair and maintain poles, wires, transmission lines, distribution lines, service lines and cable television and communications equipment in and on, under and over all public streets, lands and places in the City for the purpose of furnishing the City and its inhabitants with cable and noncable services.
B. 
A franchisee shall not erect any poles on the streets of the City without the prior approval of the City Engineer as to specific locations. Whenever the telephone or other utility companies have erected poles, a franchisee shall be expected to enter into a joint use agreement for those poles. A franchisee shall not apply to the City Engineer to erect its own poles unless a franchisee has been unable in good faith to enter into such joint use agreement.
C. 
In those areas of the City where no poles exist and where a franchisee has not secured the City Engineer's approval to install its own poles, which approval shall not be withheld unreasonably, all wiring of the system shall be constructed underground.
D. 
In those areas of the City where it is deemed reasonable by the City Engineer, a franchisee may utilize the existing easements, conduits and so forth of the underground City fire alarm-telegraph system.
E. 
Prior to the commencement of any construction, including reconstruction, rebuild or upgrade, of any part of the system, a franchisee shall submit to the City Engineer a construction plan showing the location and design of all proposed construction and a schedule therefor.
F. 
The proposed construction schedule shall be subject to the approval of the Mayor; provided, however, that construction shall take no longer than four years to complete. All construction, including reconstruction, rebuild and upgrade, required pursuant to a franchise agreement shall commence no later than six months after the award or renewal of the franchise or the order of the City, whichever is applicable, and shall proceed according to the approved schedule.
G. 
A franchisee shall apply for all required permits and shall not undertake any construction without receipt of such permits, which shall not be delayed or withheld unreasonably.
H. 
The construction, installation and maintenance of a system shall be effectuated by a franchisee in a manner that is consistent with the laws, ordinances and construction standards of the State of New York and the City of Rochester, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Electrical Code, the National Electrical Safety Code, the Bell System Code of Pole Line Construction and the Standards of Good Engineering Practices for Measurements of Cable Television Systems of the National Cable Television Association, as amended from time to time, all to the extent applicable.
I. 
The City shall have the right to specify the methods and materials to be used by a franchisee in any construction affecting the surface or bed of any public street or any public lands or places, and to specify the location of any equipment or facilities proposed by a franchisee to be placed within or upon any public street or any public lands or places. The City shall have the right reasonably to condition and limit the construction work of a franchisee to assure a minimum of inconvenience to the traveling public.
J. 
All of a franchisee's construction shall be conducted in such a manner as to cause minimum interference with the rights and reasonable convenience of the public and any property owners that may be affected by the construction.
K. 
A franchisee shall promptly repair and restore to its previous condition any private or public property which may have been damaged as a result of the construction or maintenance of the system.
L. 
Cable service shall be extended at regular installation and monthly service rates to all residential areas where there is a density of 35 dwelling units per street mile for aerial cable or 50 dwelling units per street mile for underground cable. A franchisee shall extend cable service to areas where there is a lesser density upon payment by requesting households in such areas of a higher installation rate not to exceed the franchisee's actual and direct costs divided equally among the number of requesting households.
M. 
For subscribers requesting connection requiring an aerial drop line or underground drop line in excess of 150 feet, a franchisee shall extend cable service at the regular installation rate for the first 150 feet and at a rate not to exceed the franchisee's actual costs of installation for the distance exceeding 150 feet.
N. 
The system shall be constructed so as to provide an emergency alert system that will permit the Mayor to override the audio of all active cable channels in order to make emergency announcements to subscribers. A franchisee shall have no discretion or obligation to censor, delay or prohibit the emergency announcements.
O. 
The City Engineer shall have the right to inspect all construction and all installation work within any public street or on any public lands or places that is performed by a franchisee or under contracts with a franchisee.
P. 
Within 60 days after the end of each calendar year, a franchisee shall submit to the City Engineer detailed as-built drawings reflecting the location of all construction, including reconstruction, rebuild or upgrade, which has been completed during that year.
Q. 
A franchisee shall have the right to remove, trim, cut and to keep clear of its poles, cables, underground conduits and related equipment the trees in and along the public streets, but, in the exercise of such right, a franchisee shall not cut or damage said trees to any greater extent that is reasonably necessary for the construction, erection, installation, maintenance and use of cable television system equipment. A franchisee shall not trim, cut or remove such trees from any public streets without first providing reasonable written notice to the City Engineer of its intention to do so.
R. 
A franchisee shall promptly upon discovery or notification cover or remove any graffiti on its equipment and facilities.
S. 
Upon substantial completion of the system construction or reconstruction, rebuild or upgrade, a franchisee may be required to interconnect, directly or indirectly, by cable, microwave or other means with any other cable television system that is operating in an adjacent area. Such interconnections shall be made within 150 days of a written request from the Mayor. For good cause shown, a franchisee may request and may receive from the Mayor reasonable extensions of time to comply with or a waiver of this requirement.
T. 
A franchisee shall be required, at its expense, to protect, support, temporarily disconnect, relocate in or remove from public streets, lands or places any property of the franchisee whenever required by the Mayor upon reasonable notice by reason of traffic conditions, public safety, street construction or any other public purpose. In addition, a franchisee may be required, at its expense, to move any part or all of its equipment and facilities from any public streets, lands or places upon the termination or revocation of the franchise, as may be directed by the Mayor upon reasonable notice, provided that such direction is in accordance with federal and state law where applicable.
U. 
The franchisee on the request of any person, firm or corporation holding a building moving permit issued by the City shall temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of buildings. The direct and actual expense of such temporary removal, raising or lowering of wires shall be paid to the franchisee, by the person, firm or corporation requesting the same, and the franchisee shall have the authority to require such payment in advance. The franchisee shall be given not less than 48 hours' advance notice to arrange for such temporary wire changes.
In all areas where new residential development or redevelopment is to be constructed and to be served in whole or in part by underground power and telephone, and only in areas where both utilities are to be placed underground, the owner or developer shall provide a franchisee, upon reasonable advance notice to the franchisee and for not less than five working days, at no expense to the franchisee, the easement, trench and backfill and all necessary substructure for laying cable television cables, exclusive of all electronic cable television facilities.
A. 
A franchisee that operates a cable system with a channel capacity of not more than 40 channels shall provide one public access channel, one educational access channel, one government access channel and one discrete channel for the exclusive use of the City government.
B. 
A franchisee that operates a cable system with a channel capacity in excess of 40 channels shall provide two public access channels, two educational access channels, one government access channel and one discrete channel for the exclusive use of the City government, which, among other uses, shall be the exclusive channel for cablecasting meetings of local government agencies, boards, commissions and legislatures. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a franchisee shall not be obligated to make available a second public access channel until the first public access channel shall have been used an average of 12 hours per days during a ninety-day period.
C. 
A franchisee shall be permitted to use time on one or more access channels whenever there are no blank channels available on the same level of service which includes the access channel and whenever such access channel is not scheduled for use 72 hours in advance of such time or times desired by the franchisee, provided that any use of such access channel by the franchisee shall at all times be subordinate to designated access use and shall terminate or be preempted by access programming scheduled 72 hours in advance. All nonaccess programming on access channels shall be identified as such by an appropriate announcement made prior to and following each nonaccess use. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at such time as any access channel on a cable system with a channel capacity in excess of 40 channels has been programmed for a daily average of eight hours during any ninety-day period, use of such channel by the franchisee shall be suspended for such time as such minimum access use of such channel is maintained.
D. 
A franchisee shall submit to the daily newspapers of general circulation within the City for listing and publication in such newspapers the programming available on each of the access channels, at the same time and in the same form as the submission of other programming to such newspapers, provided that the administrator or operator of such a channel gives the franchisee the necessary programming information in a timely manner. A franchisee shall publish the programming available on each of the access channels in its own programming guide (if any), subject to the same proviso.
A. 
Public access is the means for enabling individuals or organizations within the community to communicate via the cable television medium noncommercial information, ideas and opinions regarding subjects that would be of interest to viewers in the community. This communication may take any of the following forms:
(1) 
Programming produced using studio equipment and facilities;
(2) 
Programming produced using electronic field equipment and facilities; and
(3) 
Programming converted from the use of consumer equipment.
B. 
In order to achieve the foregoing purposes:
(1) 
The public access channel shall be administered and operated by a not-for-profit corporation that the Mayor selects or causes to be created;
(2) 
When the corporation has been created or selected, the franchisee shall provide the corporation for its exclusive use equipment and facilities of industrial-grade quality sufficient to administer and operate the channel, as listed more specifically in the franchise agreement;
(3) 
The franchisee shall provide the corporation annually at the beginning of each year a grant of money to be used by the corporation for the administration and operation of the channel, as well as for the maintenance, repair and replacement, including upgrade, of the equipment and facilities, the initial amount of the grant to be specified in the franchise agreement;
(4) 
The amount of the annual grant will increase each franchise year in proportion to the increase during the previous franchise year in the consumer price index, but in no event less than 5%;
(5) 
The annual grant shall be financed:
(a) 
One-half by a monthly surcharge of equal amount to each subscriber, which may be itemized by the franchisee on the monthly bill; and
(b) 
One-half by the franchisee;
(6) 
The franchisee shall publicize at least quarterly on its cable advertiser-supported channels, at least quarterly in its bills and monthly in its own program guide the existence of public access for potential users; and
(7) 
The corporation shall enter into a contract of one or more years with the City regarding the administration and operation of the channel, which contract shall contain such terms and conditions as the Mayor shall deem appropriate; provided, however, that the contract shall contain at least the following terms and conditions:
(a) 
In order to be trained, use the equipment and facilities and cablecast programming, individuals shall be residents of the City and organizations shall have an office located in the City, in which case their representatives need not be residents of the City;
(b) 
Procedures for training, use of equipment and facilities and cablecasting shall be designed to assure swiftness of access, broad public availability and nondiscrimination or monopolization; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall prohibit the charging of reasonable fees and deposits subject to the Mayor's approval;
(c) 
A substantial amount of the programming shall be produced in the Rochester metropolitan statistical area and shall be related to subjects of concern or interest to residents or subgroups of residents of the City;
(d) 
Programming produced by an organization shall be related to the organization's mission, values, purposes, operations, products or services;
(e) 
An annual operating and capital budget shall be adopted by the corporation, a copy of which shall be provided to the Mayor and the President of the City Council and the Cable Advisory Commission; and
(f) 
Financial records shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, shall be available to inspection by the Mayor and shall be independently audited by a certified public accountant once a year, a copy of which shall be provided to the Mayor and the President of the City Council and the Cable Advisory Commission.
A. 
A new franchisee shall provide the equipment, facilities and services offered in its franchise application. A renewing franchisee shall provide the equipment, facilities and services offered in its proposal for franchise renewal.
B. 
A franchisee shall offer to subscribers a wide diversity of cable services and programming generally available to the cable television industry and substantially reflecting the varied needs and interests of the residents of the City. More particularly, a franchisee shall further offer at least 3,500 hours of programming per month in the nine broad categories of video programming listed on Appendix A.[1] In addition, a franchisee shall further offer at least 600 hours per month of programming primarily of interest to members of each of the two principal minority/ethnic population groups within the City, as revealed by the 1990 United States census; each of these sets of programming will also be considered a broad category of programming. Programming in the broad categories of video programming shall not include programming on the access channels and the premium channels. The establishment of broad categories of video programming is not intended to establish any specific programming requirements within any category. A franchisee may abandon any broad category of video programming if no programming in the category is available to the franchisee or programming in the category is available to the franchisee only upon either the payment of a charge, however labeled, substantially in excess of any such payment in effect at the beginning of the franchise term and not compensated for through a rate increase or other adjustment, or the adherence to terms and conditions substantially more restrictive than any such terms and conditions in effect at the beginning of the franchise term, neither of which (payment or adherence) is self-imposed or within the franchisee's reasonable control. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing contained herein shall prevent a franchisee from packaging one or more broad categories of programming in a tier and offering the tier to its subscribers.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file in the office of the City Clerk, where it may be inspected during regular office hours.
C. 
A franchisee shall offer to subscribers a reduced level of cable service consisting of substantially fewer channels than the full-channel capacity of the franchisee's cable system. Such level of service shall include the local television broadcast signals, provided they are available and the provisions of 17 U.S.C. § 111(c) and (d), regarding a compulsory license for secondary transmissions by cable systems, remain in full force and effect; the government and one public access channel to be specified by the Mayor if there are more than one, and such other channels and programming generally available to the cable television industry and reflecting the varied needs and interests of the residents of the City as may be selected by the franchisee in its sole discretion. A franchisee shall charge subscribers for this level of cable service a monthly rate that is lower than the monthly rate charged subscribers for the franchisee's full-channel service, exclusive of premium or pay-per-view programming services, and that is commensurate with such reduced level of service.
A. 
A franchisee shall maintain all equipment and segments of the cable system in good condition throughout the entire franchise period.
B. 
A franchisee shall make cable system repairs promptly and interrupt cable service only for a good cause and for the shortest time possible. Any such interruptions, insofar as possible, except in emergency situations, shall occur only during periods of minimal cable system use. A franchisee shall not interrupt service for any purpose within its reasonable control without advising its subscribers during the previous 24 hours by means of repeated alphanumeric notices on its channels.
C. 
A franchisee shall, throughout the entire franchise period, meet the technical, operational and maintenance standards and quality of cable service set forth in § 4A-11H and the franchise agreement. A franchisee shall maintain records of its compliance with these standards, and such records shall be available for inspection by the Mayor upon reasonable notice during normal business hours.
D. 
A franchisee shall simultaneously provide the City with a full copy of its annual proof of performance tests required by and submitted to the New York State Commission on Cable Television.
E. 
A franchisee shall not allow its cable or other operations to interfere with television reception of persons not serviced by the franchisee, nor shall the cable system interfere with, obstruct or hinder in any manner the operation of the various utilities serving the residents of the City.
A franchisee shall set forth its initial rates for its services for informational purposes in the franchise agreement.
A. 
A franchisee shall maintain a major office within the City limits, which shall be open during all usual business hours, have a publicly-listed local telephone number or numbers and be so operated that complaints and requests for service or repairs shall be received on a twenty-four-hour basis. Subscribers shall be promptly notified of any change of address of such office or of telephone number(s). The franchisee shall obtain and maintain sufficient telephone lines and staffing so as to be able to connect a telephone caller to a live personal representative or a recorded current status report within one minute between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. seven days a week and so that a telephone caller will receive a busy signal no more than three percent of the time under normal operating circumstances.
B. 
A franchisee shall maintain the means to be capable of responding to and to commence resolving subscriber complaints or requests for service within 24 hours after receipt of the complaint or request. No charge shall be made to the subscriber for this service unless such maintenance or repair is required as a result of damage caused by the subscriber, in which case such charge shall be fair and equitable.
C. 
A franchisee shall notify a subscriber in advance of the approximate expected time of a service visit. Such notification shall indicate whether the anticipated visit will be before or after noon. A franchise shall make its best efforts to accommodate subscribers as to their choice of morning, afternoon, evening or weekend visits.
D. 
All personnel, agents and representatives of a franchisee, including subcontractors, shall wear photo-identification badges, prominently displayed, when acting on behalf of the franchisee.
E. 
Any person having a complaint concerning the construction, operation or maintenance of the system shall have the right to complain orally or in writing to a franchisee. The franchisee shall establish and submit to the Mayor for approval procedures for receiving, acting upon and resolving subscriber complaints. At the time of initial subscription to a franchisee's service and annually thereafter, a franchisee shall provide to each subscriber a written statement setting forth the information and procedures necessary for the subscriber to register any complaint. A telephone number for service shall be displayed on all subscriber bills and in the Rochester telephone directory.
F. 
A franchisee shall respond to complaints promptly and shall begin to resolve complaints within 24 hours of receipt or at the latest on the next working day, unless the subscriber requests a later date.
G. 
A franchisee shall make a record of all complaints and the disposition of each; such records shall be maintained for a period of two years and shall be subject to inspection by the Mayor upon reasonable notice during ordinary business hours.
H. 
The Mayor shall appoint a City Cable Television Compliance Officer to be responsible for assuring that all reasonable steps have been taken to satisfactorily resolve complaints. The complaint officer shall conduct investigations of unresolved complaints as deemed necessary to effectuate resolution. Such officer shall maintain records of all complaints and their disposition and shall retain copies for a period of two years.
I. 
In the event that any complainant is unsatisfied with a franchisee's attempts to resolve a complaint, such complainant may register a complaint orally or in writing directly with the City Cable Television Compliance Officer who shall promptly investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it.
J. 
Reliability of service; tests and analyses.
(1) 
When there exists substantial evidence, in the form of subscriber complaints or otherwise, which in the judgment of the City Cable Television Compliance Officer casts doubt on the reliability or quality of cable service, the City Cable Television Compliance Officer may notify a franchisee, in writing, that it is required to test, analyze and report on the problematic aspect(s) of the cable system. Such report shall be delivered to the Cable Television Compliance Officer no later than 30 days after the Cable Television Compliance Officer's formal notification and shall include the following information: the nature of the complaints or evidence which precipitated the special test(s); which cable system component(s) was/were tested, the equipment used and procedure(s) employed in said testing; the results of such test(s); and the method(s) by which said complaints or problems were resolved.
(2) 
The Cable Television Compliance Officer may require that tests and analyses shall be supervised by a professional engineer not on the permanent staff of a franchisee. The engineer shall be selected by the City after consultation with the franchisee. The engineer shall sign all records of the special tests and forward to the Cable Television Compliance Officer such records with a report interpreting the results of the tests and analyses and recommending actions to be taken by a franchisee and the City. The engineer shall base his or her report on the tests and analyses. All the expenses of implementing these requirements shall be at the cost of a franchisee; provided, however, that if the report by the engineer establishes that the franchisee is in substantial compliance with required technical standards and performance specifications or fails to show noncompliance, then the City will pay the costs of such engineer.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
K. 
Upon request by a subscriber, a franchisee shall credit all affected subscriber's accounts on a pro rata basis for loss of cable service commencing four hours after a franchisee is notified of such loss. A franchisee shall, at the time of initial subscription to the cable system and annually thereafter, furnish a notice to subscribers of their right to a refund for any loss or interruption of cable service for 24 hours or more.
L. 
A franchisee shall not discriminate in the provision of cable services, including access thereto, against any subscriber, channel user or general citizen on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disability or residential income of a local area.
M. 
A franchisee shall not, in its charges or rates or in the availability of the services or facilities of its system, make or grant advantages or preferences to any individual subscriber or potential subscriber of the system or any individual user or potential user of the system. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the reduction or waiving of charges or rates for promotional or competitive purposes.
N. 
A franchisee shall annually provide subscribers with a complete list of service offerings, options, prices and credit policies.
O. 
Within seven days of the receipt of any request for connection from any person who is located within an area then served by a franchisee, the franchisee shall furnish cable service to such person, unless a longer period of time is required to obtain legal right of access.
P. 
A franchisee shall afford consumers with the right to rescind ordered cable services, which right shall last until the earlier of either initiation of physical installation or provision of the services on the premises.
Q. 
A franchisee shall provide, upon request, to any subscriber who subscribes to pay television or to similar premium services, a discretion key which enables the subscriber to prevent utilization of the premium channels on his or her television set. A franchisee shall provide such key at its cost.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
R. 
In the operation of its system, a franchisee shall not interfere in any way with the right of any resident to utilize an individual antenna for the purpose of receiving television and other signals off the air.
S. 
Upon termination of service to any subscriber and after receipt of a written request therefor from the subscriber, a franchisee shall promptly remove all facilities and equipment from the premises of such subscriber, unless such facilities and/or equipment are located within the subscriber's walls or are underground.
T. 
A franchisee shall not disconnect or discontinue service for delinquency in payment without complying with the applicable rules and regulations of the New York State Commission on Cable Television which require at least five days' prior written notice to the subscriber and provision to the subscriber of an opportunity to cure the delinquency at the time of discontinuance or disconnection. Where a franchisee has improperly disconnected or discontinued service, it shall provide free reconnection.
U. 
Personal privacy of subscribers.
(1) 
A franchisee shall strictly observe and protect the right of personal privacy of subscribers and users of its cable system at all times. At the time of first providing any cable service or other service to a subscriber and at least once a year thereafter, a franchisee shall provide notice in the form of a separate, written statement to such subscriber which clearly and conspicuously informs the subscriber of:
(a) 
The nature of personally identifiable information collected or to be collected with respect to the subscriber and the nature of the use of such information;
(b) 
The nature, frequency and purpose of any disclosure which may be made of such information, including an identification of the types of persons to whom the disclosure may be made;
(c) 
The period during which such information will be maintained by a franchisee;
(d) 
The times and place within the City at which the subscriber may have access to such information; and
(e) 
The limitations provided by this section with respect to the collection and disclosure of such information by a franchisee and the rights of the subscriber.
(2) 
For purposes of this section, the term "personally identifiable information" includes without limitation a subscriber's name; address; telephone number; employment, credit and financial data; programming or viewing habits or preferences; commercial product preferences; economic, political and social opinions derived from any polls or surveys; and any other information that would identify or reasonably tend to identify an individual subscriber or the members of a subscriber's household or a subscriber's invitees or employees. The term "personally identifiable information" does not include any record of aggregate data which does not identify particular persons.
(3) 
Collection of information.
(a) 
Except as provided in Subsection U(3)(b) a franchisee shall not use its cable system to collect personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber without the prior written consent of the subscriber concerned.
(b) 
A franchisee may use its cable system to collect such information in order to:
[1] 
Obtain information necessary to render a cable service or other service provided by the franchisee to the subscriber; or
[2] 
Detect unauthorized reception of cable service.
(4) 
Disclosure of information.
(a) 
Except as provided in Subsection U(4)(b), a franchisee shall not disclose personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber without the prior written consent of the subscriber concerned.
(b) 
A franchisee may disclose such information if the disclosure is:
[1] 
Necessary to render or conduct a legitimate business activity related to a cable service or other service provided by the franchisee to the subscriber;
[2] 
Made to any governmental entity pursuant to a court order authorizing such disclosure, as provided in Subsection U(8), provided the subscriber is notified of such order by the person to whom the order is directed; or
[3] 
Made only in order to disclose the names and addresses of subscribers to any cable service or other service if the franchisee has provided the subscriber the opportunity to prohibit or limit such disclosure and the disclosure does not reveal, directly or indirectly, any other personally identifiable information.
(5) 
A franchisee shall not monitor any subscriber terminal without prior written consent of the subscriber concerned; provided, however, that the franchisee may conduct cable system-wide or individually addressed sweeps for the purpose of verifying cable system integrity. A franchisee shall not initiate a subscriber response mechanism without a finding by the Mayor that the cable system can operate effectively and yet provide absolute protection against any invasion of personal privacy. Failure to provide such a finding or to indicate obstacles to such a finding within 30 days of receipt of a request therefor shall be deemed a waiver of this requirement.
(6) 
Subscriber consent to collect and access information.
(a) 
Subscriber consent to the collection of personally identifiable information shall be contained in a separate document, signed and dated by the subscriber and having a prominent statement that the subscriber is giving consent freely and with knowledge of the types of information to be collected. Subscriber consent to the disclosure of such information or to the monitoring of any subscriber terminal shall be obtained by a franchisee no earlier than one year prior to such disclosure or monitoring and shall be contained in a separate document, signed and dated by the subscriber and having a prominent statement that the subscriber is giving consent freely and with full knowledge of the specific information to be disclosed or the monitoring to be conducted; such consent shall not be valid more than one year after its date. No consent to collect or disclose personally identifiable information beyond that necessary to provide cable service shall be required by a franchisee as a condition of receiving cable service. Any consent to disclose such information may be revoked by a subscriber at any time by delivering to the franchisee a written, signed and dated statement of revocation, which shall be effective immediately upon receipt.
(b) 
A subscriber shall be provided access to all personally identifiable information regarding that subscriber which is collected and maintained by a franchisee. Such information shall be made available to the subscriber at reasonable times and at a place within the City designated by the franchisee. A subscriber shall be provided reasonable opportunity to correct any error in such information.
(7) 
A franchisee shall destroy personally identifiable information if the information is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected and there are no pending requests, requirements or orders for access to such information.
(8) 
A governmental entity may obtain personally identifiable information concerning a subscriber pursuant to a court order only if, in the court proceeding relevant to such court order, such entity offers clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the information is reasonably suspected of engaging in criminal activity and that the information sought would be material evidence in the case and the subject of the information is afforded the opportunity to appear and contest such entity's claim.
(9) 
Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a franchisee from contracting for billing services, provided that any contractor agrees, in writing, to be bound by the provisions of this section and the penalties imposable under this chapter.
(10) 
Any person aggrieved by any act of a franchisee in violation of this section may seek damages pursuant to the provisions of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984. This redress shall be in addition to any other lawful remedy available to such person.
A. 
The City and a franchisee shall hold regular performance review sessions at 2 1/2 years, five years and 7 1/2 years from the award or renewal of a franchise and also as may be required by federal and state law.
B. 
Special performance review sessions may be held at any time during the term of a franchise at the request of the City or the franchisee.
C. 
All regular performance review sessions shall be open to the public and announced at least once by the City in a newspaper of general circulation. A franchisee shall advise its subscribers of all regular review sessions by alphanumeric notices on its channels between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. for five consecutive days preceding each review.
D. 
Topics which may be discussed at any regular or special performance evaluation session may include but need not be limited to cable services, video programming, free or discounted services, system performance, customer complaints, service rate structures, application of new technologies, privacy, line extension policies, the franchise fee, penalties, franchisee or City rules and regulations, amendments to this chapter and judicial and administrative rulings.
[Amended 7-14-1992 by Ord. No. 92-283]
There is hereby established a Cable Advisory Commission consisting of nine members to be appointed by the Mayor subject to the approval of the City Council. The term of each member shall be three years; provided, however, that of the initial members, three shall serve for a term of one year, three shall serve for a term of two years and three shall serve for a term of three years, as designated by the Mayor. Members shall be residents of the City of Rochester and shall include representatives of subscribers, major ethnic and minority groups, women and public access users. In addition, representatives of the City and the franchisee shall be appointed and serve as ex officio members. The Mayor shall choose from among the members a Chairperson who shall serve for a term of one year. The duties of the Commission shall be to meet at least twice a year, to review the activities and performance of the franchise and to make an annual report regarding, such activities and performance, including recommendations, if any, to the Mayor and the President of the City Council.
A. 
A franchisee shall maintain complete and accurate books of account and records of its business and operations within the boundaries of the City and shall issue an annual financial report, described more fully in Subsection E, compiled in accordance with applicable governmental rules and regulations or, if no such rules and regulations are in effect, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, which report shall have been audited and reported upon by an independent certified public accountant. All such books and records shall be maintained at the franchisee's major office in the City.
B. 
Any intentional or material false entry in the books of account or records of a franchisee or any material false statement to the reports concerning the same that a franchisee submits to the City shall constitute a prima facie substantial breach of this chapter and the franchise agreement.
C. 
All books, records, journals, ledgers, bank account records, canceled checks and other records of a franchisee pertaining to the performance of its franchise activities and obligations in the City shall be open to inspection by the Mayor from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, upon 24 hours' notice.
D. 
Within 60 days after each calendar quarter, a franchisee shall file with the Mayor a report stating by each category of revenue the amount of gross revenues that were received by the franchisee during the spring quarter.
E. 
Filing of financial information.
(1) 
Within 90 days of the end of a franchisee's fiscal year, the franchisee shall file with the Mayor its annual financial report. The annual financial report shall be prepared by a franchisee to represent the financial condition of the cable system serving the City of Rochester. It shall include a detailed balance sheet, income and expense statement, cash flow statement, statement of sources and application of funds and supporting schedules of assets, income and expenses. In addition, a franchisee shall describe the change in the number of homes passed during the year, the number of cable plant miles, the number of subscribers for each type of service offered and the gross revenues from each and all sources attributable to the operation of the cable system within the City. There shall be submitted along with the annual financial report such other reasonable information as the Mayor may request.
(2) 
In lieu of filing an annual financial report as described in Subsection E(1), a franchisee may file with the Mayor the complete and full annual financial reports and other financial information it files with the New York State Commission on Cable Television and the New York State Board of Equalization and Assessment and a completed form as agreed to by the Mayor and the franchisee providing summary financial and related information regarding its activities in the City of Rochester.
F. 
Regardless of which option in Subsection E a franchisee chooses, a franchisee shall file simultaneously with the Mayor all financial reports and other financial information it files with the New York State Commission on Cable Television and the New York State Board of Equalization and Assessment. The City shall treat all financial and related information received from a franchisee as confidential and proprietary. If a request is made for such information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law, the City shall deny it, involving the appropriate statutory exemption. If judicial review of the City's denial is sought, the City shall notify the franchisee and give it an opportunity to participate in the judicial proceedings.
A. 
A franchisee shall not refuse to hire, employ or promote, nor bar nor discharge from employment nor discriminate against any person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of age, race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
B. 
A franchisee shall comply with Section 634 of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 and shall submit simultaneously to the City all the equal employment opportunity reports it submits to the Federal Communications Commission and any certifications or evaluations it receives from the Commission.
C. 
A franchisee shall, to the maximum extent lawful and consistent with good business practices, contract for work to be performed, services to be rendered or materials to be purchased in connection with the franchise with minority and women business enterprises, as defined by the City's Office of Affirmative Action, located in the franchisee's service area. For this purpose, a franchisee shall utilize the Office of Affirmative Action's list of certified minority and women business enterprises when advertising for or soliciting work, services and materials. A franchisee shall provide the Office of Affirmative Action on each June 30 with a report listing the name and business address of each minority and women business enterprise from whom the franchise obtained work, services and materials during the previous 12 months, the nature of the work, services and materials so obtained and the amount paid by the franchisee for such work, services and materials.
A. 
At all times during the term of any franchise hereunder, a franchisee shall maintain insurance policies certified by the City's Director of Finance as being in compliance herewith. The franchisee shall pay all premiums on such policies and file with the Director of Finance appropriate written evidence of the payment of premiums. The franchisee shall file with the Director of Finance a certificate of insurance for each policy.
B. 
A franchisee shall maintain a comprehensive general liability insurance policy with bodily injury limits of at least $1,000,000 per person and $2,000,000 per occurrence and property damage limits of at least $2,000,000 per occurrence. The policy must insure with regard to liability for bodily injury, death and property damage, as well as other claims and damages, and provide the following coverages: comprehensive form, premises/operations, explosion and collapse hazard, underground hazard, products/completed operations hazard, contractual insurance, broadform property damage, independent contractors and personal injury.
C. 
A franchisee shall maintain comprehensive automobile liability insurance covering all motor vehicles owned or used by the franchisee, with bodily injury limits of at least $1,000,000 per person and $2,000,000 per occurrence and property damage limits of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence.
D. 
A franchisee shall also carry insurance to protect it from all claims under any workers' compensation law in effect that may be applicable to it.
E. 
All insurance required hereby shall include the City as an additional insured and shall be maintained in full force and effect throughout the term of the franchise.
A. 
Within 90 days after commencement of the franchise term, a franchisee shall deposit with the City Treasurer and maintain on deposit the sum of $100,000 in cash or an unconditional and irrevocable replenishing letter of credit in the same amount in a form acceptable to the Director of Finance as security for the faithful performance by the franchisee of all the provisions of this chapter and the franchise agreement and the payment by the franchisee of any claims, liens, taxes and penalties due the City, which arise by reason of a franchisee's activities.
[Amended 11-10-1992 by Ord. No. 92-404]
B. 
Within 30 days after notice to it that any amount has been withdrawn from the security fund, a franchisee shall pay to the City Treasurer a sum of money sufficient to restore the fund to the original amount of $100,000. Within 30 days after notice to it that any amount has been drawn against the letter of credit, a franchisee shall take whatever steps are necessary to restore the letter of credit to the full amount of $100,000.
[Amended 11-10-1992 by Ord. No. 92-404]
Within 30 days after commencement of the franchise term, a franchisee shall deposit with the Director of Finance a performance bond, in such form as is satisfactory to the Director of Finance, in the amount of $5,000,000 in favor of the City of Rochester, New York. The performance bond shall be maintained until all construction work required by the franchise agreement including reconstruction, rebuild or upgrade, is substantially completed.
A. 
For substantial noncompliance with or violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or substantial breach of any term or condition of the franchise agreement, the Mayor may assess, after providing a franchisee with notice and an opportunity to be heard, as a penalty against the franchisee, an amount not to exceed $150 per day. In determining whether to the penalty and in what amount, the Mayor shall take into account the degree to which the franchisee was at fault or had the ability to control the circumstances that led to the noncompliance, violation or breach, excluding economic hardship or misfeasance or malfeasance of the franchisee's directors, officers, employees or agents. A franchisee may seek judicial review of the Mayor's determination pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules Article 78. No penalty shall be assessed if judicial review has been commenced, and then until it has been exhausted.
B. 
Prior to assessment of any penalty, the Mayor shall notify, in writing, the franchisee of any alleged noncompliance, violation or breach, setting forth the reasons why he or she believes that the noncompliance, violation or breach is substantial. The franchisee shall have 30 days from receipt of the notice to cure the noncompliance, violation or breach or to explain, in writing, to the Mayor why it thinks the noncompliance, violation or breach is nonexistent or nonsubstantial. Within 30 days of receipt of the franchisee's response or if the franchisee fails to respond, the Mayor, if he or she concludes that a basis for assessment of a penalty still exists, shall notify the franchisee, in writing, of his or her conclusion and the penalty to be assessed.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
C. 
Nothing contained herein shall prevent the City from invoking and enforcing the provisions of § 4A-7 regarding revocation of a franchise or any other rights or remedies the City may have.
D. 
In assessing penalties, the Mayor shall have the authority to draw upon the security fund.
A franchisee shall defend the City, its officers, employees, agents, boards and commissions against any claims, lawsuits or proceedings brought by a third party due to the granting of a franchise to a franchisee and any activities engaged in by a franchisee and shall further indemnify and hold them harmless from any and all damages, penalties or costs resulting from such claims, lawsuits or proceedings. This provision shall not require a franchisee to defend or indemnify the City, its officers, employees, agents, boards and commissions against claims, lawsuits or proceedings or from damages, penalties or costs attributable to the gross negligence or intentional acts or omissions of the City, its officers, employees, agents, boards and commissions.
A franchisee shall have no recourse whatsoever against the City or its officers, employees, agents, boards or commissions for any loss, costs, expenses or damages arising out of any provision or requirement of this chapter or due to the good faith enforcement of this chapter or the franchise agreement. This provision shall not prevent a franchise from asserting any legal right or pursuing any legal remedy it believes it possesses with regard to this chapter.
A franchise award or renewal and franchise agreement are subject to approval by the New York State Commission on Cable Television. A franchisee shall file all appropriate and necessary documentation for such approval with the New York Commission within 30 days from the date the franchise is awarded or renewed.
Every direction, notice or order to be served upon the franchisee shall be sent by certified mail to its office located in the City. Every notice to be served upon the City shall be sent by certified mail to the Mayor. Such notice, direction or order shall be deemed to have been given upon its delivery.
All of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to a franchisee, its successors and assigns, as such may be approved by the City in accordance with the provisions hereof.
A franchisee shall not be relieved of its obligation to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or a franchise agreement by reason of the failure of the City to enforce prompt compliance.
The Mayor shall have the right to adopt such rules and regulations as the Mayor may find reasonable or necessary in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter, provided that such rules and regulations are not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
If any provision of this chapter or the particular application thereof shall be held void or otherwise invalid by any court or regulatory agency of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions and their application shall not be affected thereby.
In addition to any other legislative right and power the City Council may have, the Council expressly reserves the right and power to amend this chapter to the extent authorized by federal and state law by virtue of changes therein that may be enacted or otherwise become effective on or after January 1, 1992.