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Cable Television Franchises Ordinance

Township of Genoa Ordinance No. 20000417A

An ordinance regulating and providing for the granting of cable television franchises

The Township of Genoa ordains:

Cable Television

Article I. In General

Sec. 9-1. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations will have these meanings:

Access channel means any noncommercial channel dedicated by a cable system for local use or programming by persons other than the Grantee.

Activated or ability means a function, service, channel, or piece of equipment that is in working order and may be operated or received by a Grantee, subscriber, programmer, operator, or user.

Basic service means all subscriber services provided by the Grantee in one (1) or more service tiers, which include the delivery of local broadcast signals and access channels.

Cable service means (A) the one-way transmission to subscribers of (i) video programming, or (ii) other programming services, and (B) subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection or use of such video programming or other programming service as defined by 17 USC 521.

Cable system means 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 which includes video programming and which is provided to multiple subscribers within a community, but such terms do not include (A) a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; (B) a facility that serves subscribers without using any public right-of-way; (C) a facility of a common carrier which is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of subchapter II of Title V of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, except that such facility will be considered a cable system (other than for purposes of section 541(c) of Title V of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended), to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers, unless the extent of such use is solely to provide interactive on-demand services; (D) an open video system that complies with Section 573 of Title V of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended; or (E) any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operation of its electric utility system.

Cable television regulatory commission means the public body of the Township whose duties include regulating, monitoring, and reporting on cable system, if any.

Channel means the capacity to transport one (1) video stream or television signal.

Educational access channel means any noncommercial channel or portion of a channel for which local educational institutions are the only designated programmers.

FCC means the Federal Communications Commission and any legally appointed, designated, or elected agency or successor.

Franchise means the nonexclusive rights granted by the Township to a Grantee to construct, operate, and maintain a cable system in the Township.

Franchise Agreement means an ordinance awarding a franchise accepted by the Grantee which contains the specific provisions of the franchise granted, including referenced specifications, an ordinance awarding the franchise, and other related material.

Grantee means a person or entity to whom a cable franchise has been granted under this Chapter.

Government access channel means any noncommercial channel or portion of a channel for which local governmental agencies are the only designated programmers.

Gross revenues will be as defined in a Franchise Agreement and equally applied to all Grantees.

Interconnection means the linking of separate cable systems by coaxial, fiber optic cable, or other means.

Lockout device means a device which prevents reception of one (1) or more channels.

Programmer means any person or entity who or which produces or otherwise provides program material or information for transmission by video, audio, digital, or other signals, either live or from recorded tapes or other storage media, to users or subscribers by means of the cable system.

Proposal means an application or proposal for a franchise or renewal filed with the Township and any additions or amendments.

Public access channel means any channel or portion of a channel utilized for noncommercial programming, including religious programming, on a nonprofit basis but, that is available to the general public.

Service area means the entire geographic area of the Township.

Street means the surface of and the space above and below a public street, road, highway, freeway, path, public place, sidewalk, alley, boulevard, parkway, drive, or other easement now held by the Township, and will include other easements or rights-of-way which will be now or hereafter held by the Township and which will within their proper use entitle the Township and a Grantee to the use thereof for the purposes of installing or transmitting cable service over poles, wires, cables, conductors, ducts, conduits, vaults, manholes, amplifiers, appliances, attachments, and other property as may be ordinarily necessary and pertinent to a cable system.

Subscriber means a lawful recipient of services which are delivered over the cable system.

Sec. 2. Intent.

The Township finds that the development of cable systems has the potential of having great benefit and impact upon the people of the Township. Because of the complex and rapidly changing technology associated with cable television, the Township further finds that the public convenience, health, safety, and general welfare can best be served by establishing regulatory powers which should be vested in the Township or such persons as the Township will designate. It is the intent of this chapter and subsequent amendments to provide for and specify the means to attain the best possible public interest and public purpose in these matters and any Franchise issued pursuant to this chapter will be deemed to include this finding as an integral part.

Sec. 3. Necessity of a Franchise

No person may occupy or use the streets, sidewalks, or other public rights-of-way of the Township for the purpose of operating a cable system, nor operate such a system, without a Franchise. A Franchise will comply with all the requirements of this chapter.

Secs. 4 - 25. Reserved.

Article II. Grant of Franchise

Sec. 26. Grant of a Franchise

If the Township grants a nonexclusive, revocable Franchise to construct, operate, maintain, and reconstruct a cable system within the Township, the Franchise constitutes both a right and an obligation to provide the services of a cable system as required by the provisions of this chapter and the Franchise.

Sec. 27. Use of public streets and rights-of-way.

(a) For the purpose of operating and maintaining a cable system in the Township, the Grantee may erect, install, construct, repair, replace, reconstruct, and retain in, on, over, under, upon, across, and along the public streets and rights-of-way within the Township such wires, cables, conductors, ducts, conduits, vaults, manholes, amplifiers, appliances, pedestals, attachments, and other property and equipment necessary and appurtenant to the operation of the cable system. Prior to construction or alteration, however, the Grantee will in each case file plans with the appropriate Township agencies, complete use agreements with the utility companies, obtain all construction permits, and receive written approval of the Township before proceeding, which approval may not unreasonably be withheld.

(b) The grant of authority for use of Township streets, sidewalks, and other public easements is nonexclusive and does not establish priority for use over other Franchise holders, permit holders, and the Township's own use of public property. Additionally, the Grantee will respect the rights and property of the Township and other authorized users of streets, sidewalks, and other public easements. Disputes between the Grantee and other parties over the use, pursuant to this chapter, of the streets, sidewalks, and other public easements may be submitted to the Township for resolution.

Sec. 28. Nonexclusivity of a Franchise.

The Board of Trustees may award a nonexclusive Franchise to construct, erect, operate, and maintain in, upon, along, above, over, and under the streets, alleys, public ways, and public places, now laid out or dedicated and all extensions thereof, and additions thereto, within the Franchise territory such poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other conductors and fixtures necessary for the operation and maintenance of a cable system, and to furnish and to sell service from such system to the inhabitants of the entire Franchise territory pursuant to the terms of this chapter. The Board of Trustees specifically reserves the right to grant at any time such additional Franchises for a cable system as it deems appropriate.

Sec. 29. Term of a Franchise.

The term of a Franchise and all rights, privileges, obligations, and restrictions pertaining thereto may not be more than fifteen (15) years from the effective date of the Franchise, as specifically set forth in a Franchise Agreement. The Franchise may be terminated sooner pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No privilege or power of eminent domain is bestowed by this grant of a Franchise.

Sec. 30. Transfer, Ownership, and Control.

  • (a) Franchise Transfers. A Franchise, the cable system, and any portion of a cable system may not be transferred without the prior written consent of the Township.

    • (1) Exclusions. For the purpose of this Section, "transfer" and "transferred" does not include: (a) a transfer solely for security purposes (such as the grant of a mortgage or security interest) but does include any realization on the security by the recipient, such as a foreclosure on a mortgage or security interest; or (b) the replacement of components of the Cable System in the course of ordinary maintenance upgrade and day-to-day operation.

    • (2) Exception. A Grantee may, without additional approval by Township, transfer or assign a Franchise to an entity controlled and at least 50% owned by Grantee or Grantee's parent, where the new entity: assumes all of Grantee's obligations and liabilities under the Franchise, agrees to comply with all provisions of a Franchise and Cable Ordinance and becomes a signatory to the Franchise, has the legal, managerial, technical, and financial ability to properly perform and discharge such obligations and liabilities, and such abilities are each at least as great as those of Grantee. Township shall be advised in writing of such transfer and of the new entity's qualifications at least sixty (60) days before such transfer occurs and shall be reimbursed any reasonable, documented costs it incurs in connection with such transfer.

  • (b) Transfer of Ownership or Control. Unless otherwise provided in the Franchise Agreement, there may be no transfer of or acquisition of control of Grantee or of any entity, at any tier or level, which directly or indirectly controls Grantee without the prior written consent of Township.

    • (1) For the purposes of this Section, ". . . transfer of or acquisition of control of Grantee . . . " means any change in the identity of the entities, individuals, or group which directs, or has the power to direct, the management and policies of Grantee, whether through the ownership of voting securities or other equity interest, by contract or otherwise. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, for the purposes hereof, such a change will be deemed to have occurred at any point in time when there is (a) a change in working or effective voting control, in whatever manner effectuated, of Grantee; (b) an agreement of the holders of voting stock or rights of Grantee which effectively vests or assigns policy decision-making in any person or entity other than Grantee; or (c) a sale, assignment, or transfer of any shares or interest in Grantee which results in a change in the control of Grantee.

  • (c) Applications for Consent/Procedure. If Grantee seeks to obtain the consent of Township to any transactions or matters described in Section 30 (a) or (b) (collectively "transfer"), Grantee will submit an application for such consent to Township and will submit or cause to be submitted to Township such additional documents and information as Township may reasonably request.

    • (1) The Township will have 120 days from the date of submission of an application (such as an FCC Form 394) to act upon any such application for consent. If the Township fails to act upon such application for consent within 120 days, such application will be deemed consented to unless the Township and Grantee otherwise agree to an extension of time.

    • (2) The Township will not unreasonably withhold its consent to any proposed transfer, and may grant its consent outright, may grant such consent with reasonable conditions which it finds are in the public interest, or may deny consent but may not use the transfer to renegotiate the Franchise.

    • (3) Nothing in any approval by the Township of an authorization of any transfer will be construed to waive or release any rights of the Township in and to the streets, public ways, and public places of the Township, or as a release of any of the Township's police powers, or as an exercise of eminent domain.

    • (4) The Township's granting of consent in any one instance will not require it to grant consent in other instances.

    • (5) Grantee shall pay and/or reimburse the Township for all costs reasonably incurred by the Township due to any proposed transfer reasonable and documented costs, not to exceed $5,000.00.

Sec. 31. Franchise renewal.

With respect to the renewal of a Franchise, any proceedings undertaken by the Township that relate to the renewal of Franchises shall be governed by and comply with applicable federal law, including the renewal provisions in Section 626 of the Federal Cable Act, as amended.

Sec. 32. Defaults

  • (a) Events of Default. Unless otherwise provided in the Franchise Agreement, the occurrence, at any time during the Term of the Franchise, of any one or more of the following events, shall constitute an Event of Default by the Grantee under a Franchise:

    • (1) The failure of Grantee to pay the Franchise fee.

    • (2) The failure of Grantee to pay PEG capital grants, if any, on or before the due dates specified.

    • (3) Grantee's breach or violation of any of the material terms, covenants, representations, or warranties contained herein or Grantee's failure to perform any material obligation of its Franchise.

    • (4) Grantee's failure to pay or cause to be paid any governmentally imposed taxes of any kind whatsoever, including but not limited to real estate taxes, income taxes, and personal property taxes on or before the due date for same. Grantee shall not be in default with respect to the non-payment of taxes which are being disputed in good faith in accordance with applicable law.

    • (5) If Grantee files a voluntary petition in bankruptcy; is adjudicated insolvent; obtains an order for relief under Section 301 of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. ?301); files any petition or fails to contest any petition filed against it seeking any reorganization, arrangement, composition, readjustment, liquidation, dissolution, or similar relief for itself under any laws relating to bankruptcy, insolvency, or other relief for debtors; seeks or consents to or acquiesces in the appointment of any bankruptcy trustee, receiver, master, custodian, or liquidator of Grantee, or any of Grantee's property and/or Franchise and/or of any and all of the revenues, issues, earnings, profits, or income; makes an assignment for the benefit of creditors; or fails to pay Grantee's debts generally as they become due.

  • (b) Uncured Events of Default. Upon the occurrence of an Event of Default which can be cured by the immediate payment of money to the Township or a third party, Grantee shall have thirty (30) days from written notice from the Township to Grantee of an occurrence of such Event of Default to cure same before the Township may exercise any of its rights or remedies provided for in Section 172. Upon the occurrence of an Event of Default by Grantee which cannot be cured by the immediate payment of money to the Township or a third party, Grantee shall have ninety (90) days from written notice from the Township to Grantee of an occurrence of such Event of Default to cure same before the Township may exercise any of its rights or remedies provided for in Section 172.

    • (1) If any Event of Default is not cured within the time period allowed for curing the Event of Default, as provided for herein, such Event of Default shall, without additional notice, become an Uncured Event of Default, which shall entitle the Township to exercise the remedies provided for in Section 172.

Sec. 33. Extended operation

At the expiration of the term or any extension thereof, for which the Franchise is granted, the Township may require the Grantee to continue to maintain and operate the system for a period not to exceed six (6) months. The Grantee shall, as trustee for its successor in interest, continue to operate the cable system under the terms and conditions of this chapter and the Franchise and to provide the regular subscriber service and any and all of the services that may be provided at the time. The Township shall be permitted to seek legal and equitable relief to enforce the provisions of this section.

Sec. 34. Receivership

A Franchise will, at the option of the Board of Trustees, cease and terminate one hundred twenty (120) days after the appointment of a receiver or receivers or trustee or trustees to take over and conduct the business of the Grantee whether in a receivership, reorganization, bankruptcy, or other action or proceeding unless such receivership or trusteeship is vacated prior to the expiration of the one hundred twenty (120) days or unless:

  • (1) Such receivers or trustees have, within one hundred twenty (120) days after their election or appointment, fully complied with all the terms and provisions of this chapter and the Franchise granted pursuant hereto, and the receivers or trustees within the one hundred twenty (120) days have remedied all defaults under the Franchise; and

  • (2) Such receivers or trustees, within one hundred twenty (120) days, execute an agreement duly approved by the court having jurisdiction in the premises, whereby such receivers or trustees assume and agree to be bound by each and every term, provision, and limitation of the Franchise herein granted.

Secs. 35 - 65. Reserved.

Article III. Service Provisions

Sec. 66. Services to be provided

The Grantee will provide, at a minimum, the services listed in the Franchise, including, but not limited to a basic level of service to all subscribers which includes all public, educational, and governmental access channels and local broadcast television stations carried on the system as required by federal law. The Grantee's cable television system will initially be capable of carrying at least seventy-eight (78) television channels on the subscriber network.

Sec. 67. Government access channel.

Upon request by the Township, a Grantee will provide at least one (1) noncommercial channel for the use of the Township at no charge to the Township on the subscriber network.

Sec. 68. Educational access channel.

The Grantee will provide, at a minimum, the services listed in the Franchise, including, but not limited to a basic level of service to all subscribers which includes all public, educational, and governmental access channels and local broadcast television stations carried on the system as required by federal law. The Grantee's cable television system will initially be capable of carrying at least seventy-eight (78) television channels on the subscriber network.

Sec. 70. Lockout control devices.

Secs. 71 - 90. Reserved.

Article IV. Design Specifications, Construction Provisions and Construction Standards

Sec. 91. System design.

The cable system will be constructed in accordance with the design requirements contained in the Franchise.

Sec. 92. Geographical coverage.

The Grantee will design and construct a cable system in such a manner as to serve all residential, government, and school buildings within the area of the Franchise . Service will be provided to subscribers in accordance with the schedules specified in the Franchise.

Sec. 93. Cable System facilities.

The Grantee will provide facilities in accordance with the requirements of the Franchise, if any.

Sec. 94. System construction schedules.

(a) A Grantee required to construct a new system in the Township within ninety (90) days after the effective date of the Franchise, will apply for all necessary permits and authorizations which are required to commence construction, including but not limited to any utility joint use attachment agreements, and any other permits, licenses, and authorizations. The Grantee will apply for all necessary and required permits and file all necessary and required statements with the FCC as set forth in the Franchise. The Grantee will apply for all other necessary permits and authorizations which are required in the conduct of its business with due diligence thereafter.

(b) The Grantee will commence construction of the cable system on a date mutually agreed to between the parties. The Board of Trustees may grant an extension only for good cause shown. Formal application for such extension must be filed in writing by the Grantee within the time for completion of construction.

(c) Prior to the commencement of construction, the Grantee will submit to the Township a detailed description of the proposed cable system. Construction status reports will be submitted to the Township at least once in every calendar quarter until construction has been completed. The Grantee will, as soon as practicable, prepare a map of the proposed system and will promptly submit four (4) complete copies, and any revisions thereto, as soon as they are available to the Township building and engineering department and one map in GIS format.

(d) After service has been made available to any particular area of the Township by activating trunk cables, the Grantee will install individual drops and provide service in accordance with the Grantee's marketing plan to any requesting subscriber within that area within ninety (90) days from the date of request.

(e) The Grantee may prepare a timetable of construction which will make cable television service available sooner than the above minimum requirements.

Sec. 95. Underground Construction.

(a) In those areas of the Township where transmission or distribution facilities of all utility companies are underground or are placed underground, the Grantee will likewise construct, operate, and maintain all of its transmission and distribution facilities underground.

(b) In cases of new construction or property development where utilities are underground, the developer or property owner will give the Grantee reasonable notice of such construction or development, and make reasonable provision for joint trenching by the Grantee and other utilities. Developers shall make access available to Grantees on the same terms and conditions as other public utilities.

(c) In those areas of the Township where the utility facilities are above ground at the time of installation of the cable system and are subsequently placed underground by the utility companies or are required by the Township to be placed underground, the Grantee will likewise place its facilities underground within six (6) months at its sole cost and expense.

Sec. 96. Street occupancy.

(a) The Grantee will notify the Township at least ten (10) days prior to commencing any construction in any streets. The Township shall cooperate with the Grantee in granting any permits required. Such construction by the Grantee may not unduly interfere with the use of such streets or the rights of other parties occupying such streets. That proposed construction will be done in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the ordinances of the Township.

(b) It is unlawful for the Grantee or any person acting on its behalf to open or otherwise disturb the surface of any street, driveway, public way, or other public place for any purpose whatsoever without appropriate construction permits from the Township.

(c) All transmission lines, equipment, and structures will be so installed and located as to cause minimum interference with the rights and reasonable convenience of property owners and at all times will be kept and maintained in a safe, adequate, and substantial condition, and in good order and repair. The Grantee will at all times employ ordinary care and will install and maintain in use commonly accepted methods and devices for preventing failures and accidents which are likely to cause damage, injuries, or nuisances to the public. Suitable barricades, flags, lights, flares, or other devices will be used at such times and places as are reasonably required for the safety of all members of the public. Any poles or other fixtures placed in any public way by the Grantee will be placed in such a manner as not to interfere with the usual travel on such public way.

(d) The Grantee will, at its own expense, and in a manner approved by the Township, restore to Township standards and specifications any damage or disturbance caused to the street or public way as a result of its operations or construction on its behalf. The Grantee will, at its own expense, restore property disturbed or damaged to reasonably and generally applied standards.

(e) Whenever, in case of fire or other disaster, it becomes necessary in the judgment of the fire chief or police chief to remove any of the Grantee's facilities, no charge may be made by the Grantee against the Township for restoration and repair, unless such acts amount to negligence by the Township.

(f) The Grantee may trim trees or other vegetation owned by the Township to prevent their branches or leaves from touching or otherwise interfering with its wires, cables, or other structures.

  • (1) All trimming or pruning will be done with Township's prior approval.

  • (2) All trimming or pruning will be at the sole cost of the Grantee.

  • (3) The Grantee may contract for trimming or pruning services with any approved contractor.

  • (4) The Grantee will obtain the permission of the owner of any privately owned tree or other vegetation before it trims or prunes the same.

(g) The Grantee at its own expense shall protect, support, temporarily disconnect, relocate, or remove any property of the Grantee when in the opinion of the Township the same is required by reason of traffic conditions, public safety, street vacation, freeway or street construction, change or establishment of a street grade, installation of sewers, drains, water pipes, power lines, signal lines, transportation facilities, railroad tracks, or any other types of structure or improvements by governmental agencies whether acting in a governmental or a proprietary capacity or any other structure or public improvement, including but not limited to movement of buildings, urban renewal and redevelopment, and any general program under which the Township will undertake to cause all such properties to be located beneath the surface of the ground. The Township has the right upon five (5) days notice to require the Grantee to remove at its own expense any property of the Grantee or make any other type of improvement necessary for the public health, safety, or welfare. Nothing in this Chapter may be deemed a taking of the property of the Grantee, and the Grantee will be entitled to no surcharge.

(h) Upon 30 days written notice to the Grantee and the subsequent failure of the Grantee to commence, pursue, or complete any work required by law or by the provisions of this chapter to be done in any street, within the time prescribed and to the reasonable satisfaction of the Township, the Township may, at its option, cause such work to be done and the Grantee will pay to the Township the cost thereof in the itemized amounts reported by the Township to the Grantee within thirty (30) days after receipt of such itemized report.

(i) The Grantee may make no paving cuts or curb cuts without permission from the Township.

(j) The Grantee will install in conduits all cable passing under any roadway unless exempted by permit.

(k) The Grantee will, at the request of any person holding a permit to move a building, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of the building.

  • (1) Such temporary removal, raising, or lowering of wires will be at the sole cost and expense of the person requesting the same. The Grantee may require payment for the same in advance before complying with such request.

  • (2) Any person making such a request from the Grantee will give not less than seven (7) business days' notice of the contemplated move.

  • (3) Any interruption in service occasioned by the temporary removal, raising, or lowering of the Grantee's wire in accordance with this section will not subject the Grantee to any penalty provided under this chapter. Any interruption in service occasioned under the provisions of this subsection will be done, as far as is practicable, outside of prime time (i.e., other than 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M., local time).

(l) The Township has the right, during the life of the Franchise and any extensions thereto, to install and maintain free of charge upon the poles of the Grantee, if any, any wire and pole fixtures that do not unreasonably interfere or compete with the cable system operations of the Grantee.

Sec. 97. Construction standards and requirements.

(a) All of the Grantee's plant and equipment, including but not limited to the distribution system, house connections, structures, poles, wire, cable, coaxial cable, fixtures, and appurtenances located in the Township will be installed, located, erected, constructed, reconstructed, removed, replaced, maintained and operated in accordance with standard engineering practices and applicable federal, state, and local codes, performed by experienced maintenance and construction personnel so as not to endanger or interfere with improvements the Township may deem proper to make, or to interfere in any manner with the rights of any property owner, or to unnecessarily hinder or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic on municipal properties.

(b) All of the Grantee's system, including all plant and equipment and all construction, will meet the Township code as long as the foregoing is not preempted by federal law or regulations. The specifications, construction standards, and performance characteristics will include but not be limited to the following listed construction and technical standards:

  • (1) All construction practices will be in accordance with all applicable sections of the occupational safety and health act, and any amendments thereto, as well as all state and local codes where applicable.

  • (2) All installation of electronic equipment will be of a permanent nature, durable and installed in accordance with the provisions of the National Electrical Safety Code and National Electrical Code as amended.

  • (3) Antenna-supporting structures (towers), if any, located in the Township will be designed for the proper loading as specified in Electronics Industry Association's Specifications.

  • (4) Antenna-supporting structures (towers), if any, located in the Township will be painted, lighted, erected, and maintained in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations of the federal aviation administration and all other applicable state or local codes and regulations. RF leakage will be checked at reception locations for emergency radio services to prove no interference signal combinations are possible. Stray radiation will be measured adjacent to any proposed aeronautical navigational reception in the normal flight patterns. FC C rules and regulations will govern.

Sec. 98. Technical standards.

The cable system will meet all minimum FCC technical standards.

Sec. 99. Standby power.

The Grantee will maintain equipment capable of providing standby power for headend, transportation, and trunk amplifiers for a minimum of four (4) hours.

Sec. 100. Emergency Alert System.

(a) Grantees without charge will install as a part of its cable system, and will operate throughout the term, an Emergency Alert System (EAS) (or successor to that system) in accordance with all requirements imposed from time to time by the FCC.

(b) In establishing Grantee's EAS system pursuant to this Section, Grantee will:

  • (1) Designate a channel (which may be the government channel) which will be used for emergency broadcasts of both audio and video.

  • (2) Inform customers of the designated emergency channel at least daily on at least one channel (which may be the government channel) of the multi-channel system.

  • (3) Test the emergency override system not less than once every three months.

  • (4) Provide a full video and audio override capability which can be activated remotely by security measures deemed mutually agreeable by the Township and Grantee.

  • (5) Cooperate with the Township on the use and operation of the emergency alert override system.

Sec. 101. Interconnection

(a) The cable system will be capable of interconnecting with all other cable systems in the Township. The Grantee will use its reasonable best efforts to interconnect public, educational, and governmental access channels of the cable system with any or all other cable systems in the Township, upon the directive of the Township. Interconnection of systems will permit interactive transmission and reception of program material, and may be done by directive of the Township.

(b) Upon receiving the directive of the Township to interconnect, the Grantee will immediately initiate negotiation with the other affected system or systems. The cost will be divided as appropriate by both Grantees and may be treated as an external cost.

(c) The Grantee may be granted reasonable extensions of time to interconnect or the Township may rescind its order to interconnect upon a petition by the Grantee to the Township. The Township may grant the request if it finds that the Grantee has negotiated in good faith and has failed to obtain an approval from the system or systems of the proposed interconnection, or that the cost of the interconnection would cause an unreasonable or unacceptable increase in subscriber rates.

(d) The Grantee will cooperate with any interconnection corporation, regional interconnection authority, or Township, county, state, or federal regulatory agency which may be hereafter established for the purpose of regulating, financing, or otherwise providing for the interconnection of cable systems beyond the boundaries of the Township.

Sec. 102. Technological improvements to the system.

In furtherance of the general policy that services provided be innovative and modern, the Grantee of a Franchise will pursue a policy of incorporating new technical developments into the system and will identify and respond to changing community needs and interests regarding video programming where economically and technically feasible.

Secs. 103 - 120. Reserved.

Article V. Operation and Maintenance

Sec. 121. Other reports, petitions, and applications.

(a) Upon request, Copies of all petitions, applications, communications, and reports submitted by the Grantee to the Federal Communications Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, or any other federal or state regulatory commission or agency having jurisdiction in respect to any matters will be filed concurrently with the Township.

(b) Upon request, The Grantee will submit to the Township copies of all pleadings, reports, and documents submitted by the Grantee or received by the Grantee regarding any lawsuits in any federal, state, or local courts materially relating to the operation of the cable system in the Township.

(c) The Township has the right to inspect at any time during normal business hours all books, records, maps, plans, financial statements, service complaint logs, performance test results, and other like materials of the Grantee which relate to the operation of the cable system in the Township. Access to the aforementioned records may not be denied by the Grantee on the basis that the records contain confidential, privileged, or proprietary information. Grantee may request that certain information be treated as confidential.

Sec. 122. Schedules of rates.

The Grantee will maintain and file with the Township a complete schedule of subscriber rates.

Sec. 123. Disconnections.

If a subscriber has failed to pay properly due monthly fees or if a subscriber disconnects for seasonal periods, the Grantee may require, in addition to a reasonable fee for reconnection, full payment of any delinquent fees.

Sec. 124. Refunds to subscribers and programmers.

(a) If the Grantee fails to provide any service requested by a subscriber or programmer, the Grantee will, after adequate notification and being afforded the opportunity to provide the service, promptly make adjustments to the subscriber bill.

Sec. 125. Continuity of service.

In the event of a change of the Grantee, or in the event a new operator acquires the cable system, the Grantee will cooperate with the Township, new Grantee, or operator in maintaining continuity of service to all consumers and programmers for a period not exceeding six (6) months. During such period, the Grantee is entitled to the revenues for any period during which it operates the system, and will be compensated for reasonable costs incurred in providing any services when it no longer operates the system.

Sec. 126. Customer service standards

(a) The Grantee will (1) maintain a payment location in the Township or within an adjacent community which will be open during all usual business hours, (2) have a locally listed or toll-free telephone which is staffed so that complaints and requests for repairs or adjustments may be received at any time, (3) designate such office as the place where all notices, directions, orders, and requests may be served or delivered under this chapter, and (4) provide for regular billings of accounts.

(b) The Grantee will furnish each subscriber, at the time service is installed, written instructions that clearly set forth procedures for placing a service call, requesting an adjustment, and for handling customer complaints. These instructions will also include the name, business address, and business telephone number of the person designated by the Township to whom the subscriber can call or write for information regarding terms and conditions of a Franchise or to whom the subscriber can call or write if the Grantee fails to respond to the subscriber's request for installation, service, or adjustment within a reasonable period of time.

(c) The Grantee will maintain a repair force of technicians capable of responding to subscriber complaints or requests for service within twenty-four (24) hours after receipt of the complaint or request.

Sec. 127. Subscriber privacy.

(a) Cable Tapping Prohibited. Grantees may not, nor may a Grantee knowingly permit any person, agency, or entity, without the customer's consent or court order to tap, or to arrange for the tapping of any cable, line signal input device, or customer outlet or receiver for any purpose except routine maintenance of the system, or for polling with audience participation or audience viewing surveys to support advertising research regarding viewers where individual viewer behavior cannot be identified.

(b) Invasion of Privacy Prohibited. In the conduct of providing its services or pursuit of any collateral commercial enterprise resulting from its services, Grantee will take all action necessary to prevent an invasion of a customer's right to privacy as such right is defined by applicable law. Grantees will not without lawful court order utilize the Cable System's interactive two-way equipment or capability for surveillance of any customer or general citizen outside the normal course of business.

(c) Sale of Personalized Data Restricted. Grantees may not sell or otherwise make available lists of the names and addresses of customers, or any list which identifies, by name, customer viewing habits, or personalized data pertaining to a customer's use of any Grantee service without the express written consent of the customer to whom the personalized data pertains. For purposes of this Section, "personalized data" means the name and/or address of an individual customer directly associated with data obtained on his or her use of specific services provided by or through Grantee. Nothing in a Franchise may be construed to prevent, as a normal incident of commercial enterprise, the sale or availability of "non-personalized" or "aggregate data" which is not personalized data.

Secs. 128 - 145. Reserved.

Article VI. Administration and Regulations of Franchise

Sec. 146. Regulatory authority.

The Township may exercise appropriate regulatory authority under the provisions of this chapter and applicable law. This authority is vested in the cable television regulatory commission. The Board of Trustees may, by resolution, appoint a cable television regulatory commission consisting of five persons to perform such duties and to have such powers as this chapter and the Board of Trustees may determine.

Sec. 147. Regulatory responsibility.

(a) The Township may regulate rates and services subject to state and federal law, this chapter, and the Franchise and amendments thereto. Such regulations may include:

  • (1) Administration and enforcement of the provisions of the cable ordinance and Franchise.

  • (2) Rate regulation, if not preempted by Federal law.

  • (3) Performance evaluation.

  • (4) Franchise award or renewal.

(b) The Township also reserves the right to perform the following functions in coordination with the Grantee:

  • (1) Oversee and coordinate the operation of access channels.

  • (2) Provide technical, programming, and operational support to public agency users, such as the Township departments, schools, and health care institutions.

  • (3) Coordinate plans for expansion and growth of cable services.

  • (4) Analyze the possibility of integrating cable systems with other Township, state, or regional telecommunications networks.

  • (5) Formulate and recommend long-range telecommunications policy for the Township.

(c) The cable television regulatory commission's decisions, rulings, and policies may be appealed to the Board of Trustees by any party or person aggrieved. The Board of Trustees may uphold or reverse the ruling or decision or may remand to the cable television regulatory commission for rehearing or reconsideration.

Sec. 148. Rates and charges for service.

Subject to state and federal law, the Township reserves the right to regulate rates for cable service.

Sec. 149. Performance review.

(a) In order to monitor the Grantee's performance and adherence to this chapter and the Franchise, the Township, through the cable television regulatory commission, and the Grantee may hold scheduled review sessions within thirty (30) days of the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth anniversary dates of the effective date of the Franchise and each three (3) years thereafter during the term of the Franchise. Special review sessions may be held at any time during the term of the Franchise at the request of the Township and/or Grantee.

Sec. 150. Franchise fees.

A Grantee will pay to the Township an annual fee not exceeding five (5%) percent of the Grantee's annual gross revenues as defined in the Franchise.

Sec. 151. Payments.

(a) Payment of the Franchise fee will be made quarterly at the Township treasurer's office. Each payment will be accompanied by a form financial statement, a copy of which is attached to the Franchise, setting forth the basis for the computation and specifically showing the gross revenues attributable to the Franchise during the preceding quarter.(b) Each quarterly payment, and payment of any adjustments from the previous quarter, and accompanying financial statement will be filed in the Township treasurer's office within forty-five (45) days after the last day of the quarter for which the payment is due.

(c) The Grantee will file with the Township, within one hundred twenty (120) days of the close of the Grantee's fiscal year, an annual report prepared and certified by an officer of the Franchise corporation, showing annual gross revenues attributable to Grantee's cable operation in the Township as well as those other items of information required by this chapter or Franchise . Extension of such period up to thirty (30) additional days may be granted by the Board of Trustees upon written request of the Grantee.

(d) The Township has the right to inspect the Grantee's financial records for its operations in the Township, and the rights of audit and recomputation of any amounts that may be determined to be payable under this chapter; provided, however, that such audit will take place within twelve (12) months from the filing of the Grantee's annual report with the Township. Any additional amount due the Township as a result of the audit will be paid within thirty (30) days following written notice and agreement by the Grantee that the report is accurate in all respects. The cost of the Township's audit will be borne by the Grantee if it is properly determined that the Grantee's annual payments to the Township for the preceding year are increased by more than five (5%) percent.

(e) In the event that any Franchise fee payment or recomputed amount is not made on or before the applicable dates heretofore specified, an interest charge of one (1) percent per month, computed from the due date, shall accrue, commencing 30 days after the due date upon written notice.

(f) No acceptance of any payment by the Township will be construed as a release, or as an accord and satisfaction of any claim the Township may have for further or additional sums payable as a Franchise fee under this chapter or for the performance of any other obligation of the Grantee.

Secs. 152 - 170. Reserved.

Article VII. General Financial and Insurance Provisions

Sec. 171. Construction bond.

(a) A Grantee required to build a new system, within thirty (30) days after the effective date of the Franchise, and prior to the commencement of any construction work by the Grantee, the Grantee, at its sole expense, will file with the Township a surety bond, in favor of the Township. The surety bond will be in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) or in any greater amount specified in the Franchise . The bond will assure the Township of recovery of any damages, losses, costs, and expenses sustained or suffered by the Township as a result of the failure of the Grantee to satisfactorily and timely complete and activate its cable system throughout the Township, pursuant to this chapter and the Franchise. This bond will be maintained by the Grantee until the system is 75 percent complete as determined by the Board of Trustees. The performance and surety bond will be issued by a surety company licensed to do business in the state and acceptable to the Township and in a form approved by the corporation counsel.

(b) The Township may, upon completion of construction, waive or reduce the requirement of the Grantee to maintain the bond. However, the Township may require a performance bond to be posted by the Grantee for any construction subsequent to the completion of the service area, in a reasonable amount and upon such terms as determined by the Board of Trustees not exceeding $10,000.

(c) The bond will contain the following endorsement: "It is understood and agreed that this bond may not be canceled by the surety nor the intention not to renew be stated by the surety until thirty (30) days after receipt by the Township, by registered mail, of a written notice of such intent to cancel or not to renew."

Sec. 172. Insurance.

(a) The Grantee will maintain throughout the terms of the Franchise insurance insuring the Township and the Grantee in the minimum amount of:(1) Workers' compensation: As required by all applicable federal, state, maritime, or other laws.

  • (1) Workers' compensation: As required by all applicable federal, state, maritime, or other laws.
  • (2) Commercial General liability: Commercial General Liability with a minimum limit of two million dollars ($2,000,000) per occurrence applying to bodily injury and property damage policy shall also include coverage for contractual liability and completed operations.

(b) The insurance policies obtained by the Grantee in compliance with this section must be approved by the Township attorneys as in compliance with this chapter within thirty (30) days of the execution of the Franchise. Certificates of such insurance, along with written evidence of payment of required premiums, will be filed and maintained with the Township Clerk during the term of the Franchise. Such certified copies may be changed from time to time to reflect any increase in liability limits. There may be no decrease in liability limits. The Grantee will immediately advise the Township of any litigation that may develop that would affect this insurance.

(c) Neither the provisions of this section nor any damages recovered by the Township may be construed to limit the liability of the Grantee under any Franchise issued hereunder, nor may any provision be construed to excuse the Grantee from the faithful performance of its obligations under this chapter or Franchise.

(d) All insurance policies maintained pursuant to this Franchise will name the Township, its employees, agents, boards, and officers as additional named insured parties with respect to all actions, errors, and omissions of the Grantee, its agents, or subcontractors, and will contain the following endorsement:

"It is understood and agreed that this insurance policy may not be canceled, replaced, materially altered or changed by the insurer nor the intention not to renew be stated by the insurer until thirty (30) days after receipt by the Township, by registered mail, of a written notice of such intention to cancel or not to renew."

Sec. 173. Indemnification.

(a) The Township will not at any time be liable for any injury or damage occurring to any person or property from any cause whatsoever arising out of this chapter, the Franchise, or from the use, operation, or condition of the Grantee's system.

(b) The Grantee will, at its sole cost and expense, fully indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Township, its officers, boards, commissions, and employees, against any and all claims, suits, actions, liability, and judgments for dama

How to File a Video/Cable Television Complaint

Courtesy of the State of Michigan Public Service Commission

Consumers should first contact their video/cable provider to discuss their complaint. If a resolution cannot be reached, contact the MPSC for help in dealing with the video/cable provider.

Consumer Tips - Filing a Video/Cable Television Complaint

Call the Commission to File an Informal Complaint

MPSC staff are available to assist with your inquiry or informal complaint Monday through Friday, excluding State holidays, by calling 1-800-292-9555. We encourage you first to contact your video/cable provider with your question before calling us. At times, call volumes may be high and staff are busy assisting other customers. In this situation, you will be put into a voicemail. If you are connected to the Video Franchise voicemail, please leave a detailed message including your full name, call back number, billing address, and the nature of your complaint. Staff will respond to your complaint as soon as possible. You can also contact us by submitting your inquiry or complaint in writing to us at the following address:

Michigan Public Service Commission
Attn: Video Franchising
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Submit your complaint via fax: 517-284-8200.
Submit your complaint online:  Video/Cable Complaint Online Form

File a Formal Complaint

If you are not satisfied with the results of an informal complaint investigation by Commission staff, you may pursue a formal complaint with the Commission. Because the Commission's authority is limited to that provided by statute, a formal complaint can only involve issues that the Commission is responsible for.

Formal Video/Cable Complaint Form

Uniform Video Services Dispute Resolution Process

Please click on the following link to view the Uniform Video Services Dispute Resolution Process as set forth in 2009 PA 4:

Uniform Video Services Dispute Resolution Process