[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Rochelle Park 10-21-1998 by Ord. No. 783-98. Amendments noted where applicable.]
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:
- The Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey.
- The grantee of the rights under this ordinance and known as "Cablevision of Oakland, Inc."
- FEDERAL ACT
- That federal statute relating to cable communications known as the "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984," 47 U.S.C. § 521 et seq., or as the statute may be amended.
- FEDERAL REGULATIONS
- Those federal regulations relating to cable television service, 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.
- The municipality of Rochelle Park, County of Bergen, in the State of New Jersey.
- STATE 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., or as that statute may be amended.
- STATE REGULATIONS
- Those regulations of the State of New Jersey Board of Regulatory Commission relating to cable television, N.J.A.C. 14:17-1.1 et seq. and 14:18-1.1 et seq., or as such regulations may be amended.
A public hearing concerning the consent herein granted to the company was held after proper public notice pursuant to law. Said hearing having been fully opened to the public, and the municipality having received at said hearing all comments regarding the qualifications of the company to receive this consent, the municipality hereby finds that the company possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications, and that the company's operating the construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.
The municipality hereby consents to a renewal of the franchise, subject to the terms and conditions of this ordinance and upon the condition that the company accept the provisions of this ordinance and confirm, in writing, that it shall comply with all of the commitments.
At the time this municipal consent becomes effective (as provided in § A213-28 below), and for and throughout the renewal term (as defined in § A213-5 below), the municipality shall renew and continue its consent for the company to place in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places in the municipality poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other television conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the municipality of a cable television system.
[Amended 7-21-2004 by Ord. No. 910-04]
The consent herein granted shall expire on November 9, 2013, 15 years from the expiration date of the previous certificate of approval issued by the Board of Public Utilities.
If the company seeks a successive consent, it shall, prior to the expiration of this consent, apply for a municipal consent and certificate of approval in accordance with the Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq. The company shall also petition the Board for a certificate of approval authorizing continued operation during the period following expiration of the consent granted herein and until such a time that a decision is made by the municipal governing body relative to the renewal of said consent.
The consent granted under this ordinance to the renewal of the franchise shall apply to the entirety of the municipality and any property hereafter annexed hereto.
The company shall, during each year of operation under the consent granted herein, pay to the municipality 2% of the gross revenues from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers to its cable television reception service in the municipality, or such other amount as may be fixed by law.
In the event applicable law hereafter permits a larger franchise fee to be collected, but does not fix the amount thereof, the municipality and the company shall negotiate in good faith with respect to the amount thereof.
The company shall be required to offer service along any public right-of-way to any person's residence or business located in the municipality, in accordance with the proposal for the provision of services as described in the application. Any additional extension of the system will be made in accordance with the proposal as set forth in the application.
In transmitting its television signals to subscribers in the municipality, the company shall provide a quality of signal that is at least as good as that customarily provided under prevailing industry standards, and the company shall comply with any requirements imposed by the federal regulations, and any federal pronouncements, and (to the extent not preempted by federal law) any state pronouncements relating to technical standards for the transmission of television signals, transmission quality or facilities and equipment.
The company agrees that it will provide such programming and services consistent with the company's application as herein defined and any additional services that the company believes are in the public interest and in compliance with applicable law.
The company shall maintain all parts of the system in good working order at all times and shall respond to all service calls and correct malfunctions as promptly as possible, on a seven-day-per-week basis.
The company shall cause any and all construction plans relating to work on any extensions of the company's plant or work which could have a significant impact on public works within the municipality to be filed with the municipality's Engineer. Nothing herein shall create any rights or obligations with respect to construction work which are inconsistent with any regulations or regulatory authority of the OCT or the Board.
In order to maintain its level of telephone accessibility for calls relating to maintenance and repairs ("service") and to improve it for calls relating to installation, addition or deletion of programming services and other customer inquiries ("business"), the company shall do the following:
The company shall comply with any and all requirements of the OCT or other regulatory bodies with respect to telephone accessibility, facilities and personnel and shall use its best efforts to comply with any OCT guidelines relating to the foregoing.
Nothing herein shall impair the right of any subscriber or the municipality to express any comment or complaint with respect to telephone accessibility to the Complaint Officer (as designated in § A213-11 hereof) or impair the right of the Complaint Officer to take any action which is appropriate under law.
Notwithstanding any specific mention of applicable federal or state statutes or regulations above, the company shall comply with all applicable requirements of the federal act, the federal regulations, the state act and regulations (to the extent not preempted) and any other valid statute, regulation, rule or promulgation, specifically including, but without limitation, those relating to equal employment opportunity.
Restoration. In the event that the company or its agents shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces in the nature topography, the company shall, at it sole expense, restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good condition as existed prior to the commencement of said work.
Relocation. If at any time during the period of this consent the municipality shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other way or place, the company, upon reasonable notice by the municipality, shall at its expense remove, re-lay and relocate its equipment.
Temporary removal of cables. The company shall, upon request of the municipality, at the company's expense, temporarily raise, lower or remove its lines and/or equipment in order to facilitate the moving of buildings or machinery or in other like circumstances; provided, however, that if such request is occasioned or necessitated as a result of any nonmunicipal work or projects of any kind by a third party(ies), then and in such event, the cost and expense for the company to temporarily raise, lower or remove its lines and/or equipment to facilitate the moving of any buildings or machinery or in other like circumstances, shall be borne directly by such third party(ies).
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 and public places of the municipality so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cables of the company. Such trimming shall be performed only after approval by the Township Forester and only to the extent necessary to maintain proper clearance for the company wires and cables. The company will be allowed to trim trees without approval in emergency situations or where it may place the company in violation of other regulatory requirements.
During the term of this franchise and any renewal thereof, the company shall maintain a local business office or agent for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters. Such local business office shall be open during normal business hours and, in no event, less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The OCT is hereby designated as the Complaint Officer for the municipality 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 (recodified from N.J.A.C. 14:17-7.1 to 14:17-6.5).
Although nothing herein shall require the company to carry or transmit any particular television stations or programming source, the company shall provide the subscribers in the municipality with at least the same broad categories of programming, in approximately the same quantity, as are now provided and which appear in the application.
The company shall comply with any state law or regulation and shall use its best efforts to comply with any guideline, with respect to maintaining space for a statewide interconnect channel.
The company shall be required to complete any proposed construction within the service area described in the application.
To secure its faithful performance of its obligations under a renewal of the franchise during the renewal term, the company shall provide a performance bond in the penal sum of $25,000. Such bond shall specifically secure the faithful performance of all undertakings of the company as represented in the application and in the commitments. The municipality reserves the right by resolution to require a reasonable increase in the amount of said bond, subject to review by the OCT and approval by the Board.
The company shall provide the installation of one outlet and basic monthly service to each school, library and the following municipal buildings in the municipality, free of charge: Borough Hall, D.P.W. Office, Municipal Annex, Fire Headquarters and Ambulance Building. Each additional outlet installation shall be paid for by the institution on a materials-plus-labor basis. Monthly services on such additional outlets shall be charged at the regular tariffed rates for additional outlets.
In consideration of a ten-year franchise, Cablevision of Oakland shall offer the the following equipment to the Township of Rochelle Park for use in the production of public access television, per attached letter of September 21, 1998:
All of this equipment will be provided free of charge by Cablevision of Oakland. The use of this equipment will enable the township to cablecast character-generated messages on the cablevision access channel.
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. Each school and library shall be permitted, at its own cost, to network up to 25 computers to the cable modem provided by Cablevision. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company, as those policies may exist from time to time.
[Added 7-21-2004 by Ord. No. 910-04]
Upon written request from the Township, the company shall provide to the Township’s Town Hall, without charge, the following: one standard installation; one cable modem per installation; and basic cable modem service for the term of this ordinance for each installation. The Township shall be permitted to network, at its own cost, four personal computers to the cable modem provided by Cablevision. This offer shall be subject to the terms, conditions and use policies of the company as those policies may exist from time to time.”
[Added 7-21-2004 by Ord. No. 910-04]
In consideration for the rights granted by this ordinance, Cablevision shall provide a one-time grant of $3,000 to be used by the Township toward the purchase of PEG access programming and production equipment. The equipment purchased shall be under the exclusive control of the Township, and may be used solely for noncommercial programming by the Township, its residents and schools, for the benefit of Cablevision subscribers within the municipality.
[Added 7-21-2004 by Ord. No. 910-04]
The company shall provide access time to noncommercial public, governmental and educational entities in the municipality on its local access channels for noncommercial use as set forth in the application filed with the municipality.
The municipality will not regulate the rates the company may charge subscribers for its service, provided that, in the event the federal act or other applicable law hereafter is amended to permit the exercise of regulatory power over rates by municipalities, the municipality reserves the right to exercise the maximum power permitted by law.
The company shall be required to have the capability to override at the headend the audio portion of the system in order to permit the broadcasting of emergency messages by municipal governing bodies.
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 damage 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 $10,000. The municipality shall be named as an additional insured under said policy.
All of the statements and commitments contained in the application and any amendment thereto submitted, in writing, to the municipality by the company, except as modified herein, are binding upon the company as terms and conditions of this consent. The application and any other relevant writings submitted by the company shall be annexed hereto and made a part hereof by reference to the extent they do not conflict with the state and federal law.
Editor's Note: Former § A213-24, Number of subscribers irrelevant, was repealed 4-21-1999 by Ord. No. 791-99.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid, preempted or unconstitutional by any court or federal or state agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision of this ordinance, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
Should any of the federal or state statutes, regulations or pronouncements applicable to the regulation of cable television be modified in any way, such modifications, to the extent they embody required terms and conditions and meaningfully can be incorporated into this ordinance, shall be so incorporated, consistent with any applicable effective dates specified in such modification. To the extent that any such modification places limits on permissible terms and conditions, and any provision of this ordinance becomes invalid by virtue of such modification, the preceding section shall apply.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances that are inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed, but only to the extent of such inconsistencies.
This municipal consent shall become effective as of the date upon which the municipality receives written notification that the company accepts the provisions of this ordinance, including the commitments.
This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon final passage and publication, pursuant to law.
Favorable terms. In the event that the township approves or permits a cable system to operate in the municipality on terms more favorable or less burdensome than those contained in this franchise, such more favorable or less burdensome terms shall be applicable in this franchise.
Request for nonfranchised competitive relief. In the event that a nonfranchised multichannel video programmer provides services to residents of the municipality, the company shall have a right to request franchise amendments that relieve the company of regulatory burdens that create a competitive disadvantage to the company. In requesting amendments, the company shall file a petition seeking to amend the franchise. Such petition shall indicate the presence of a nonfranchised competitor(s); identify the basis for the company's belief that a certain provision of this franchise places the company at a competitive disadvantage; and identify the regulatory burdens to be amended or repealed in order to eliminate the competitive disadvantage. The township shall not unreasonably withhold granting the company's petition and so amending the franchise.
Removal of facilities. Upon expiration, termination or revocation of this franchise, the company, at its sole cost and expense and upon the direction of the township, shall remove the cables and appurtenant devices constructed or maintained in connection with the services authorized herein, unless the company, its affiliated entities or assigns 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 telecommunication services.
[Added 7-21-2004 by Ord. No. 910-04]
Cablevision shall implement a senior citizen discount in the amount of 10% off the monthly rate of the broadcast basic level of cable television reception service to any person 62 years of age or older who subscribes to the company’s cable television service, subject to the following: such discount shall only be available to eligible senior citizens who do not share the subscription with more than one person in the same household who is less than 62 years of age; in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:5A-11.2, subscribers seeking eligibility for the discount must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-21; the senior discount herein relates only to the broadcast basic level of cable television service, and shall not apply to any additional service, feature, or equipment offered by the company, including any premium channel services and pay-per-view services; and senior citizens who subscribe to a level of cable television service beyond expanded basic service, including any premium or per-channel a la carte service, shall not be eligible for the discount.