For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and abbreviations shall have the meanings ascribed to them below. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number:
(a) “Affiliate” means an entity which owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership with the grantee.
(b) “Basic cable” means the tier of service regularly provided subscribers that includes the retransmission of local broadcast signals.
(c) “Cable Act” means the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, as amended.
(d) “Cable service” means:
(1) The one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming or other programming service; and
(2) Subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or any other lawful communication service.
(e) “Cable system” means a facility, consisting of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception and control equipment, or other communications equipment that is designed to provide cable service and other service to subscribers.
(f) “FCC” means the Federal Communications Commission, or successor governmental entity thereto.
(g) “Franchise” means the initial authorization, or renewal thereof, issued by the franchising authority, whether such authorization is designated as a franchise, permit, license, resolution, contract, certificate or otherwise, which authorizes construction and operation of a cable system for the purpose of offering cable service or other service to subscribers.
(h) “Franchise authority” means the Township of Lawrence Park, or the lawful successor, transferee, or assignee thereof.
(i) “Grantee” means TCI of Pennsylvania Inc., or the lawful successor, transferee, or assignee thereof.
(j) “Gross revenue” means the monthly cable service revenues received by the grantee from subscribers of the cable system; provided, however, that such phrase shall not include:
(1) Revenues received from any advertising on the cable system;
(2) Any taxes on cable service which are imposed directly or indirectly on any subscriber thereof by any governmental unit or agency, and which are collected by the grantee on behalf of such governmental unit or agency.
(k) “Person” means an individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust corporation, or governmental entity.
(l) “Public way” means the surface of, and the space above and below, any public street, highway, freeway, bridge, land path, alley, court, boulevard, sidewalk, parkway, way, lane, public way, drive, circle, or other public right of way, including, but not limited to, public utility easements, dedicated utility strips or rights of way dedicated for compatible uses and any temporary or permanent fixtures or improvements located thereon now or hereafter held by the franchising authority in the service area which shall entitle the franchising authority and the grantee to the use thereof for the purpose of public travel, or for utility or public service use dedicated for compatible uses, and shall include other easements or rights of ways as shall within the proper use and meaning entitle the franchising authority and the grantee to use thereof for the purposes of installing and transmitting grantee’s cable service or other service over poles, wires, cables, conductors, ducts, conduits, vaults, manholes, amplifiers, appliances, attachments and other property as may be ordinarily necessary and pertinent to the cable system.
(m) “Service area” means the present Municipal boundaries of the franchising authority, and shall include any additions thereto by annexation or other legal means.
(n) “Service tier” means a category of cable service or other services provided by the grantee and for which a separate charge is made by the grantee.
(o) “Subscriber” means a person or user of the cable system who lawfully receives cable services or other service therefrom with the grantee’s express permission.
(p) “Video programming” means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station.
814.02 GRANT OF FRANCHISE
(a) Grant. The franchising authority hereby grants to grantee a non-exclusive franchise to construct and operate a cable system, and offer cable service and other services in, along, among, upon, across, above, over, under, or in any manner connected with public ways within the service area, and for that purpose to erect, install, construct, repair, replace, reconstruct, maintain, or retain in, on, over, under, across, or along any public way and all extensions thereof and thereto, such poles, wires, cables, appliances, attachments, and other related property or equipment as may be necessary or appurtenant to the cable system.
(b) Term. The franchise granted pursuant to this chapter shall be for an initial term of fifteen years from the effective date of the franchise as set forth in subsection (c) hereof, unless otherwise lawfully terminated in accordance with the terms of this chapter. The grantee shall have the right to extend said term for one five-year term.
(c) Acceptance; Effective Date. Grantee shall accept the franchise granted pursuant hereto by signing original Ordinance 337-91, passed April 23, 1991, and filing the same with the Township Secretary or other appropriate official or agency of the franchising authority within sixty days of the passage and final adoption of such ordinance. Subject to the acceptance by the grantee, the effective date of such ordinance shall be the sixtieth day after its passage and final adoption.
(d) Favored Nations. In the event the franchising authority enters into a franchise, permit, license, authorization, or other agreement of any kind with any other person or entity other than the grantee for the purpose of constructing or operating a cable system, or providing cable service to any part of the franchise area, which contains terms more favorable to such entity or person in any regard than similar provisions of this chapter, then this chapter shall be deemed amended as of the effective date of the other franchise, permit, license, authorization, or other agreement, so as to give the grantee the benefit of any such more favorable terms.
814.03 STANDARDS OF SERVICE
(a) Conditions of Street Occupancy. All transmission and distribution structures, poles, other lines and equipment installed or erected by the grantee pursuant to the terms hereof shall be located so as to cause a minimum of interference with the proper use of public ways and with the rights and reasonable convenience of property owners who own any of said public ways.
(b) Restoration of Public Ways. If, during the course of grantee’s construction, operation, or maintenance of the cable system there occurs a disturbance of any public way by grantee, it shall, at its own expense, replace and restore such public way to a condition reasonably comparable to the condition of the public way existing immediately prior to such disturbance.
(c) Relocation at Request of Franchising Authority. Upon its receipt of reasonable advance notice, not to be less than five business days, the grantee shall, at its own expense, protect, support, temporarily disconnect, relocate in the public way, or remove from the public way, any property of the grantee when lawfully required by the franchising authority by reasons of traffic conditions, public safety, street abandonment, freeway and street construction, change or establishment of street grade, installation of sewers, drains, gas or water pipes, or any type of structures or improvements by the franchising authority; but, the grantee shall in all cases have the right of abandonment of its property. If public funds are available to any company using such street, easement, or right-of-way for the purpose of defraying the cost of any of the foregoing, such funds shall also be made available to the grantee.
(d) Relocation at Request of Third Party. The grantee shall, on the request of any third party holding a building moving permit issued by the franchising authority, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of such building, provided:
(1) The expense of such temporary raising or lowering of wires is paid by said person, including, if required by the grantee, making such payment in advance; and
(2) The grantee is given not less than ten business days advance written notice to arrange for such temporary wire changes.
(e) Trimming of Trees and Shrubbery. The grantee shall have the authority to trim trees and other such natural growth overhanging any of its cable system in the service area so as to prevent branches from coming into contact with the grantee’s wires, cables, and other equipment. Grantee shall be permitted to charge persons who own, or are responsible for, such trees or natural growth for the cost of such trimming, provided that such charges are assessed by and paid to the utilities or the franchising authority for tree trimming. The grantee shall reasonably compensate the franchising authority or property owner for any damages caused by such trimming, or shall, in its sole discretion and at its own cost and expense, reasonably replace all trees or shrubs damaged by any construction of the cable system undertaken by the grantee. Such replacement shall satisfy any and all obligations grantee may have to the franchising authority or property owner pursuant to the terms of this section.
(f) Use of Grantee’s Equipment by Franchising Authority. Subject to any applicable State or Federal regulations or tariffs, the franchising authority shall have the right to make additional use, for any public purpose, of any poles or conduits controlled or maintained exclusively by or for the grantee in any public way, provided that:
(1) Such use by the franchising authority does not interfere with a current or future use by the grantee;
(2) The franchising authority holds the grantee harmless against and from all claims, demands, costs or liabilities of every kind and nature whatsoever arising out of such use of said poles or conduits, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs; and
(3) At grantee’s sole discretion, the franchising authority may be required to pay a reasonable rental fee or otherwise reasonably compensate grantee for the use of such poles, conduits, or equipment, provided, however, that grantee agrees that such compensation or charge shall not exceed those paid by it to public utilities pursuant to applicable pole attachment agreements, or other authorization, relating to the service area.
(g) Safety Requirements. Construction, installation, and maintenance of the cable system shall be performed in an orderly and workmanlike manner. All such work shall be performed in substantial accordance with applicable FCC or other Federal, State, and local regulations. The cable system shall not unreasonably endanger or interfere with the safety of persons or property in the service area.
(h) Aerial and Underground Construction. In those areas of the service area where all of the transmission or distribution facilities of the respective public utilities providing telephone communications and electric services are underground, the grantee shall likewise construct, operate, and maintain all of its transmission and distribution facilities underground; granted that such facilities are actually capable of receiving grantee’s cable and other equipment without technical degradation of the cable system’s signal quality. In those areas of the service area where the transmission or distribution facilities of the respective public utilities providing telephone communications and electric services are both aerial and underground, grantee shall have the sole discretion to construct, operate, and maintain all of its transmission and distribution facilities, or any part thereof, aerially or underground. Nothing contained in this subsection shall require grantee to construct, operate, and maintain underground any ground-mounted appurtenances such as subscriber taps, line extenders, system passive devices (splitters, directional couplers), amplifiers, power supplies, pedestals, or other related equipment. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this subsection, in the event that all of the transmission or distribution equipment of the respective public utilities providing telephone communications and electric services are placed underground after the effective date of this chapter, grantee shall only be required to construct, operate, and maintain all of its transmission and distribution facilities underground if it is given reasonable notice and access to the public utilities’ facilities at the time that such are placed underground.
(i) Required Extension of Service. The cable system as of the date of the passage and final adoption of this ordinance substantially complies with the material provisions hereof. Grantee is hereby authorized to extend the cable system as necessary, as desirable or as required pursuant to the terms hereof within the service area. Whenever grantee shall receive a request for service from at least fifteen subscribers within 1,320 cable-bearing strand feet (one-quarter mile) of its trunk or distribution cable, it shall extend its cable system to such subscribers at no cost to said subscribers for system extension, other than the usual connection fees for all subscribers; provided that such extension is technically feasible and if it will not adversely affect the operation, financial condition or market development of the cable system, or as provided under subsection (j) hereof.
(j) Subscriber Charges for Extension of Service. No subscriber shall be refused service arbitrarily. However, for unusual circumstances, such as a subscriber’s request to locate his or her cable drop underground, existence of more than 150 feet of distance from distribution cable to connection of service to subscribers, or a density of less than fifteen subscribers per 1,320 cable-bearing feet of trunk or distribution cable, cable service or other service may be made available on the basis of a capital contribution in aid of construction, including cost of material, labor and easements. For the purpose of determining the amount of capital contribution in aid of construction to be borne by grantee and subscriber in the area in which cable service may be expanded, grantee will contribute an amount equal to the construction and other costs per mile, multiplied by a fraction whose numerator equals the actual number of potential subscribers per 1,320 cable-bearing strand feet of its trunk or distribution cable, and whose denominator equals fifteen subscribers. Potential subscribers will bear the remainder of the construction and other costs on a pro-rated basis. Grantee may require that the payment of the capital contribution in aid of construction borne by such potential subscribers be paid in advance.
(k) Service to Public Buildings. The grantee shall provide without charge one outlet of basic cable to the franchising authority’s office building, fire station, police station, and public school building that is passed by its cable system. The outlets of basic cable shall not be used to distribute or sell cable service in or throughout such buildings; nor shall such outlets be located in common or public areas open to the public. Users of such outlets shall hold grantee harmless from any and all liability or claims arising out of their use of such outlets, including, but not limited to, those arising from copyright liability. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this subsection, the grantee shall not be required to provide an outlet to such buildings where the drop line from the feeder cable to said buildings or premises exceeds 150 cable feet, unless it is technically feasible and so long as it will not adversely affect the operation, financial condition, or market development of the cable system to do so, or unless the appropriate governmental entity agrees to pay the incremental cost of such drop line in excess of 150 cable feet. In the event that additional outlets of basic cable are provided to such buildings, the building owner shall pay the usual installation fees associated therewith, including, but not limited to, labor and materials. Upon request of grantee, the building owner may also be required to pay service fees associated with the provision of basic cable and the additional outlets relating thereto.
(l) Emergency Override. In the case of any emergency or disaster, the grantee shall, upon request of the franchising authority, make available its facilities for the franchising authority to provide emergency information and instructions during the emergency or disaster period. The franchising authority shall hold the grantee, its agents, employees, officers and assigns hereunder, harmless from any claims arising out of the emergency use of its facilities by the franchising authority, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
814.04 REGULATION BY FRANCHISE AUTHORITY
(a) Franchise Fee. Grantee shall pay to the franchising authority a franchise fee equal to three percent of gross revenues received by grantee from the operation of the cable system on an annual basis. For the purpose of this subsection, the twelve-month-period applicable under the franchise for the computation of the franchise fee shall be a calendar year, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the franchising authority and the grantee. The franchise fee payment shall be due and payable semiannually and shall be payable on or before September 1 for the first six months of each year, and on or before March 1 for the second six months of each year. Each payment shall be accompanied by a brief report from a representative of the grantee showing the basis for the computation. These payments shall be in lieu of any other tax or payment owed to the franchising authority, now or in the future, including, but not limited to, any business privilege or related tax. In no event shall the franchise fee payments required to be paid by grantee exceed three percent of gross revenues received by grantee in any twelve-month period.
(b) Limitation on Franchise Fee Actions. The period of limitation for recovery of any franchise fee payable hereunder shall be five years from the date on which payment by the grantee is due. Unless within five years from and after said payment due date the franchising authority initiates a lawsuit for recovery of such franchise fees in a court of competent jurisdiction, such recovery shall be barred and the franchising authority shall be estopped from asserting any claims whatsoever against the grantee relating to any such alleged deficiencies.
(c) Rates and Charges. The franchising authority may not regulate the rates for the provision of cable service and other services, including, but not limited to, ancillary charges relating thereto, except as expressly provided herein and except as authorized pursuant to Federal and State law, including, but not limited to, the Cable Act, and FCC rules and regulations relating thereto. From time to time, and at any time, grantee has the right to modify its rates and charges, including, but not limited to, the implementation of additional charges and rates; provided, however, that grantee shall give notice to the franchising authority of any such modifications or additional charges thirty days prior to the effective date thereof.
In the event basic cable rate increases are subject to the future approval of the franchising authority, the grantee may, at its own discretion and without consent of the franchising authority, increase rates relating to the provision of basic cable by an amount that is at least equal to five percent per year.
(d) Renewal of Franchise. The franchising authority and the grantee agree that any proceedings undertaken by the franchising authority that relate to the renewal of the grantee’s franchise shall be governed by and comply with the provisions of Section 626 of the Cable Act (as such existed as of the effective date of the Cable Act), unless the procedures and substantive protection set forth therein shall be deemed to be preempted and superseded by the provisions of any subsequent Federal or State law.
In addition to the procedures set forth in said Section 626 (A), the franchising authority agrees to notify the grantee of its preliminary assessments regarding the future cable-related community needs and interests, as well as the past performance of the grantee under the then-current franchise term. The franchising authority further agrees that such a preliminary assessment shall be provided to the grantee prior to the time that the four-month period referred to in subsection (c) of Section 626 is considered to begin. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this subsection, the franchising authority and the grantee agree that at any time during the then current term of the franchise, while affording the public appropriate notice and opportunity to comment, the franchising authority and grantee may agree to undertake and finalize negotiations regarding renewal of the then current franchise and the franchising authority may grant a renewal thereof. The franchising authority and the grantee consider the terms set forth in this subsection to be consistent with the express provisions of Section 626 of the Cable Act. A reproduction of Section 626 of the Cable Act as such existed as of the effective date of the Cable Act is set forth in Schedule I immediately following this chapter and incorporated herein by this reference.
(e) Conditions of Sale. Except to the extent expressly required by Federal or State law, if a renewal or extension of grantee’s franchise is denied or the franchise is lawfully terminated and the franchising authority either lawfully acquires ownership of the cable system or by its actions lawfully effects a transfer of ownership of the cable system to another party, any such acquisition or transfer shall be at fair market value, determined on the basis of the cable system values as a going concern.
The franchising authority and grantee agree that in the case of a lawful revocation of the franchise, at grantee’s request, which shall be made in its sole discretion, grantee shall be given a reasonable opportunity to effectuate a transfer of its cable system, to a qualified third party. The franchising authority further agrees that during such a period of time it shall authorize the grantee to continue to operate pursuant to the terms of its prior franchise; however, in no event shall such authorization exceed a period of time greater than six months from the effective date of such revocation. If, at the end of that time, grantee is unsuccessful in procuring a qualified transferee or assignee of its cable system which is reasonably acceptable to the franchising authority grantee and franchising authority may avail themselves of any rights they may have pursuant to Federal or State law; it being further agreed that grantee’s continued operation of its cable system during the six-month period shall not be deemed a waiver, nor an extinguishment of, any rights of either the franchising authority or the grantee. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this subsection, neither franchising authority nor grantee shall be required to violate Federal or State law.
(f) Transfer of Franchise. Grantee’s right, title or interest in the franchise shall not be sold, transferred, assigned, or otherwise encumbered, other than to an affiliate, without the prior consent of the franchising authority, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. No such consent shall be required, however, for a transfer in trust, by mortgage, by other hypothecation, or by assignment of any right, title or interest of grantee in the franchise or cable system in order to secure indebtedness.
814.05 COMPLIANCE AND MONITORING
(a) Testing and Compliance. The franchising authority may perform technical tests of the cable system during reasonable times and in a manner which does not unreasonably interfere with the normal business operations of the grantee or the cable system in order to determine whether or not the grantee is in compliance with the terms hereof and applicable Federal and State laws. Except in emergency circumstances, such tests may be undertaken only after giving grantee reasonable notice thereof, not to be less than two business days, and providing a representative of grantee an opportunity to be present during such tests. In the event that such testing demonstrated that the grantee has substantially failed to comply with a material requirement hereof, the reasonable costs of such tests shall be borne by the grantee. In the event that such testing demonstrates that grantee has substantially complied with such material provisions hereof, the cost of such testing shall be borne by the franchising authority. Except in emergency circumstances, the franchising authority agrees that such testing shall be undertaken no more than two times a year in the aggregate and that the results thereof shall be made available to the grantee upon grantee’s request.
(b) Books and Records. The grantee agrees that the franchising authority may review such of its books and records, during normal business hours and on a nondisruptive basis, as is reasonably necessary to monitor compliance with the terms hereof. Such records shall include, but shall not be limited to, any public records required to be kept by the grantee pursuant to the rules and regulations of the FCC. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth herein, grantee shall not be required to disclose information which it deems to be proprietary or confidential in nature. The franchising authority agrees to treat information disclosed by the grantee to it as confidential and only disclose it to employees, representatives and agents thereof that have a need to know, or in order to enforce the provisions hereof.
814.06 INSURANCE, INDEMNIFICATION, AND BONDS OR OTHER SURETY
(a) Insurance Requirements. Grantee shall maintain in full force and effect, at its own cost and expense, during the term of the franchise, comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) combined single limit for bodily injuries and property damage. Said insurance shall designate the franchising authority as an additional insured. Such insurance shall be non-cancellable except upon thirty days prior written notice to the franchising authority.
(b) Indemnification. The grantee agrees to indemnify, save and hold harmless, and defend the franchising authority, its officers, boards, and employees, from and against any liability for damages and for any liability or claims resulting from property damage or bodily injury (including accidental death), which arise out of the grantee’s construction, operation and maintenance of the cable system, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
(c) Bonds and Other Surety. Except as expressly provided herein, grantee shall not be required to obtain or maintain bonds or other surety as a condition of being awarded the franchise or continuing its existence. The franchising authority acknowledges that the legal, financial, and technical qualifications of grantee are sufficient to afford compliance with the terms of the franchise and the enforcement thereof. Franchising authority and grantee recognize that the costs associated with bonds and other surety may ultimately be borne by subscribers in the form of increased rates for cable services. In order to minimize such costs, the franchising authority agrees to require bonds and other surety only in such amounts and during such times as there is a reasonably demonstrated need therefor. The franchising authority agrees that in no event, however, shall it require a bond or other related surety in an aggregate amount greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), conditioned upon the substantial performance of the material items, covenants, and conditions of the franchise. Initially, no bond or other surety will be required. In the event that one is required in the future, the franchising authority agrees to give the grantee sixty days prior written notice thereof stating the exact reason for the requirement. Such reason must demonstrate a change in the grantee’s legal, financial, or technical qualifications which would materially prohibit or impair its ability to comply with the terms of the franchise or afford compliance therewith.
814.07 ENFORCEMENT AND TERMINATION OF FRANCHISE
(a) Notice of Violation. In the event that the franchising authority believes that the grantee has not complied with the terms of the franchise, it shall notify grantee in writing of the exact nature of the alleged noncompliance.
(b) Grantee’s Right to Cure or Respond. Grantee shall have thirty days from the receipt of the notice described in subsection (a) hereof to either respond to the franchising authority contesting the assertion of noncompliance, or to cure such default or, in the event that by the nature of the default such default cannot be cured within the thirty-day period, initiate reasonable steps to remedy such default and notify the franchising authority of the steps being taken and the projected date that they will be completed.
(c) Public Hearing. In the event that grantee fails to respond to the notice described in subsection (a) hereof pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (b) hereof, or in the event that the alleged default is not remedied within sixty days after the grantee is notified of the alleged default pursuant to subsection (a) hereof, the franchising authority shall schedule a public meeting to investigate the default. Such public meeting shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the franchising authority which is scheduled at a time that is no less than five business days therefrom. The franchising authority shall notify grantee of the time and place of such meeting and provide the grantee with an opportunity to be heard..
(d) Enforcement. Subject to applicable Federal and State law, in the event the franchising authority, after such meeting, determines that grantee is in default of any provisions of the franchise, the franchising authority may:
(1) Foreclose on all or any part of any security provided under this franchise, if any, including, without limitation, any bond or other surety; provided, however, the foreclosure shall only be in such a manner and in such amount as the franchising authority reasonably determines is necessary to remedy the default;
(2) Commence an action at law for monetary damages or seek other equitable relief;
(3) In the case of a substantial default of a material provision of the franchise, declare the franchise to be revoked: or
(4) Seek specific performance of any provision, which reasonably lends itself to such remedy, as an alternative to damages.
The grantee shall not be relieved of any of its obligations to comply promptly with any provision of the franchise by reason of any failure of the franchising authority to enforce prompt compliance.
(e) Acts of God. The grantee shall not be held in default or noncompliance with the provisions of the franchisee, nor suffer any enforcement or any penalty relating thereto, where such noncompliance or alleged defaults are caused by strikes, acts of God, power outages, or other events reasonably beyond its ability to control.
814.08 UNAUTHORIZED RECEPTION
In addition to those criminal and civil remedies provided by State and Federal law, it shall be a misdemeanor for any person, firm, or corporation to create or make use of any unauthorized connection, whether physically, electrically, acoustically, inductively or otherwise, with any part of the cable system without the express consent of the grantee. Further, without the express consent of the grantee, it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to tamper with, remove, or injure any property, equipment or part of the cable system or any means of receiving cable service or other services provided thereto. Subject to applicable Federal and State law, the franchising authority shall incorporate into its criminal code, if not presently a part thereof, criminal misdemeanor law which will enforce the intent of this section.
814.09 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
(a) Documents Incorporated and Made a Part Hereof. The following documents shall be incorporated herein by this reference, and in the case of a conflict or ambiguity between or among them, the document of latest date shall govern:
(1) Any enabling ordinance in existence as of the date hereof;
(2) Any proposal submitted by grantee pursuant to a franchise renewal procedure, as amended and supplemented during the franchise renewal negotiation process; and
(3) Any franchise agreement between the franchising authority reflecting the renewal of the franchise.
(b) Preemption. If the FCC, or any Federal or State body or agency shall now or hereafter exercise any paramount jurisdiction over the subject matter of the franchise, then to the extent such jurisdiction shall preempt and supersede or preclude the exercise of the like jurisdiction by the franchising authority, the jurisdiction of the franchising authority shall cease and no longer exist.
(c) Actions of Franchising Authority. If any action by the franchising authority or representative thereof mandated or permitted under the terms hereof, such party shall act in a reasonable, expeditious, and timely manner. Furthermore, in any instance where approval or consent is required under the terms hereof, such approval or consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(d) Notice. Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, every notice or response to be served upon the franchising authority or grantee shall be in writing, and shall be deemed to have been duly given to the required party five business days after having been posted in a properly sealed and correctly addressed envelope by certified or registered mail, postage prepaid, at a post office or branch thereof regularly maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. The notices or responses to the franchising authority shall be addressed as follows:
The Township of Lawrence Park
4230 Iroquois Avenue, L.P.
Erie, Pennsylvania 16511
Attn: Township Secretary
The notices to the grantee shall be addressed as follows:
TCI of Pennsylvania, Inc.
5651 Jordan Road
P.O. Box 7129
Erie, Pennsylvania 16510-0129
With a copy to:
TCI of Pennsylvania, Inc.
Attention: Legal Department
PO Box 5630
Denver, Colorado 80217
TCI of Pennsylvania, Inc.
Attention: Legal Department
4643 South Ulster
Denver, Colorado 80237
Franchising authority and the grantee may designate such other address or addresses from time to time by giving notice to the other.
(e) Descriptive Headings. The captions to headings contained herein are intended solely to facilitate the reading thereof. Such captions shall not affect the meaning or interpretation of the text herein.
(f) Separability. If any section, sentence, paragraph, term, or provision hereof is determined to be illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction or by any State or Federal regulatory authority having jurisdiction thereof, such determination shall have no effect on the validity of any other section, sentence, paragraph, term, or provision hereof, all of which will remain in full force and effect for the term of the franchise or any renewal or renewals thereof.
(g) Prior Ordinances. The terms and conditions of this chapter supersede and replace in its entirety any previous ordinances and resolutions enacted by the franchising authority that relate to the construction and operation of a cable system, including, but not limited to, the Lawrence Park Community Antenna Television Franchise Ordinance.
THIS IS SECTION 626 OF THE CABLE ACT. IT IS PRESENTED IN REGULAR TYPE TO FACILITATE READING. TEXT IS AN EXACT VERSION OF THE LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN THE CABLE ACT.
“Sec. 626. (a) During the six-month period which begins with the thirty-sixth month before the franchise expiration, the franchising authority may on its own initiative, and shall at the request of the cable operator, commence proceedings which afford the public in the franchise area appropriate notice and participation for the purpose of:
“(1) Identifying the future cable-related needs and interests: and
“(2) Reviewing the performance of the cable operator under the franchise during the current franchise term.
“(b)(1) Upon completion of a hearing under subsection (a), a cable operator seeking renewal of a franchise may, on its own initiative or at the request of the franchising authority, submit a proposal for renewal.
“(2) Subject to Section 624, any such proposal shall contain such material as the franchising authority may require, including proposals for an upgrade of the cable system.
“(3) The franchising authority may establish a date by which such proposal shall be submitted.
“(c)(1) Upon submittal by a cable operator of a proposal to the franchising authority for the renewal of a franchise, the franchising authority 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), renew the franchise or, issue a preliminary assessment that the franchise should not be renewed and, at the request of the operator or on its own initiative, commence an administrative proceeding after providing prompt public notice of such proceeding, in accordance with paragraph (2) to consider whether:
“(A) The cable operator has substantially complied with the material provisions of the existing franchise and with applicable law;
“(B) The quality of the operator’s service, including signal quality response to consumer complaints, and billing practices, but without regard to the mix, quality or level of cable services or other services provided over the system, has been reasonable in light of community needs;
“(C) The operator has the financial, legal, and technical ability to provide the services, facilities, and equipment as set forth in the operator’s proposal; and
“(D) The operator’s proposal is reasonable to meet the future cable-related community needs and interests, taking into account the cost of meeting such needs and interests.
“(2) In any proceeding under paragraph (1), the cable operator shall be afforded adequate notice and the cable operator and the franchising authority, or its designee, shall be afforded fair opportunity for full participation, including the right to introduce evidence (including evidence issues raised in the proceeding under subsection (a)), to require the production of evidence, and to question witnesses. A transcript shall be made of any such proceeding.
“(3) At the completion of a proceeding under this subsection, the franchising authority shall issue a written decision granting or denying the proposal for renewal based upon the record of such proceeding, and transmit a copy of such decision to the cable operator. Such decision shall state the reasons therefor.
“(d) Any denial of a proposal for renewal shall be based on one or more adverse findings made with respect to the factors described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of subsection (c)(1), pursuant to the record of the proceeding under subsection (c). A franchising authority may not base a denial of renewal on a failure to substantially comply with the material terms of the franchise under subsection (c)(1)(A) or on events considered under subsection (c)(1)(B) in any case in which a violation of the franchise or the events considered under subsection (c)(1)(B) occur after the effective date of this title unless the franchising authority has provided the operator with notice and the opportunity to cure, or in any case in which it is documented that the franchising authority has waived its right to object, or has effectively acquiesced.
“(e)(1) Any cable operator whose proposal for renewal has been denied by a final decision of a franchising authority made pursuant to this section, or has been adversely affected by a failure of the franchising authority to act in accordance with the procedural requirements of this section, may appeal such final decision or failure pursuant to the provisions of Section 635.
“(2) The court shall grant appropriate relief if the court finds that:
“(A) Any action of the franchising authority is not in compliance with the procedural requirements; or
“(B) In the event of a final decision of the franchising authority denying the renewal proposal, the operator has demonstrated that the adverse findings of the franchising authority with respect to each of the factors described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of section (c)(1) on which the denial is based is not supported by a preponderance of the evidence, based on the record of the proceeding conducted under subsection (c).
“(f) Any decision of a franchising authority on a proposal for renewal shall not be considered final unless an administrative review by the State has occurred or the opportunity therefore has lapsed.
“(g) For purposes of this section, the term ‘franchise expiration’ means the date of the expiration of the term of the franchise, as provided under the franchise, as it was in effect on the date of the enactment of this title.
“(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) through (g) of this section, a cable operator may submit a proposal for renewal of a franchise pursuant to this subsection at any time, and a franchising authority 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 subsections (a) through (g) of this section shall not apply to a decision to grant or deny a proposal under this subsection. The denial of a renewal pursuant to this subsection shall not affect action on a renewal proposal that is submitted in accordance with subsections (a) through (g).