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Article 13-8 Operating Requirements for Cable Communications Systems

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A licensee shall conform to the following minimum standards relative to the construction, operation and maintenance of a cable communications system in the Town. It is not the intent of this article to prevent any licensee from providing more than the required minimum to meet the standards listed below.

A. Rights of Individuals, Subscribers and Users.

1. A cable system shall be operated in a manner consistent with the principles of fairness and equal accessibility of facilities, channels, studios and other services to all residents and other entities having a legitimate use of the system. A licensee shall not discriminate in terms of rates, terms of service or extension of service on the basis of age, race, creed, sex, religion, national origin or marital status. Nor shall a licensee fail to extend service to any part of the Town on the basis of the income of the residents.

2. A licensee shall maintain a business office open during normal business hours with listed local or toll-free telephone numbers to allow reasonable access by subscribers and members of the public. When the office is closed, an answering machine or similar device, capable of receiving service complaints and inquiries must be employed.

3. Licensee shall maintain a written record listing date of all complaints, identifying the subscriber or citizen, describing the nature of the complaint and when and what action has been taken by the licensee, if any, in response thereto; such record shall be kept at licensee’s office and shall be available for inspection during regular business hours without further notice of demand of the Town Manager. A summary of such records must be retained for not less than one year. The licensee shall notify each subscriber at the time of initial subscription to service of the procedure to reporting and resolving complaints.

4. A licensee shall establish procedures for the investigation and resolution of all complaints including, but not limited to, those regarding the quality of service and equipment malfunction. A copy of such procedures shall be provided to the Council upon request.

5. A licensee must provide each subscriber, at the time cable service is installed, the following:

a. Written instructions for placing a service call, filing a complaint or requesting an adjustment, including the phone number and address of licensee’s office;

b. The telephone number of the Town office responsible for administration of the cable license;

c. A schedule of rates and charges for all available services;

d. Copies of the service contract, including disconnect and reconnect procedures and charges;

e. A subscriber handbook and upon request any other written policies applicable to subscribers.

6. A licensee shall establish and conform to the following policy regarding refunds to subscribers and users:

a. If the licensee collects a deposit or advance charge on any service or equipment requested by a subscriber or user, the licensee shall provide such service or equipment within thirty (30) days of the collection of the deposit or charge or it shall refund such deposit or charge within five days thereafter upon request of the subscriber. The subscriber must be advised of this right of refund at the time the order is placed.

b. If any subscriber or user terminates any monthly service during a period of time for which said subscriber or user has made an annual or other payment in advance, the appropriate pro rata portion of said payment shall be refunded by the licensee.

7. The following requirements shall apply to disconnections:

a. There shall be no charge for total disconnection of cable service unless such charge was disclosed at the time the subscriber ordered service. All cable communications equipment shall be removed within a reasonable time from a subscriber’s property at the subscriber’s request, such time not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date of the request.

b. If any subscriber fails to pay a properly due monthly subscriber’s fee or other charge, the licensee may disconnect the subscriber’s service outlet; provided, however, that such disconnection shall not be effected until thirty (30) days after the due date of the charges and shall include a prior written notice to the subscriber of the intent to disconnect. After disconnection, upon payment in full of all proper charges or fees, including the payment of any reconnection charge, the licensee shall promptly reinstate the service.

8. A licensee may interrupt service on the cable system only for good cause and for the shortest time possible and, except in emergency situations, only after prior notice to subscribers and the Council of anticipated interruption. No prior notice shall be required for the performance of system maintenance work requiring a maximum of one hour between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight, and four hours between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m.

9. A licensee shall at all times comply with the subscriber privacy provisions of 47 U.S.C. Section 551.

10. No equipment shall be installed by the licensee for subscriber service without first securing a service request from the owner or resident of any private property involved, except in public utility easements.

11. A licensee shall not originate or knowingly permit subliminal transmission at any time for any purpose whatsoever.

12. A licensee shall provide leased access channels as required under A.R.S. §9-1442.

13. A licensee shall strictly adhere to the equal employment opportunity requirements of the FCC, 47 U.S.C. Section 554, state statutes and local regulations, and as the same may be amended from time to time.

B. Construction and Technical Standards. The following general requirements, which are not to be interpreted as imposing standards in excess of FCC imposed limits, or limits imposed by state law, apply to all licensees:

1. In those areas and portions of the service area where the transmission and distribution facilities of the telephone company and the electric company are underground or later placed underground, the licensee shall likewise install its transmission facilities underground.

2. In areas where facilities do not have to be underground, a licensee shall not erect any new poles along any street or public way of the Town except as may be reasonably required or necessary to fill small gaps in the existing aerial utility systems and only then with the advance approval of the Council.

3. A licensee must not design, install or operate its facilities in a manner that will interfere with the signals of any broadcast station, the electrical system located in any building, the cable system of another licensee, or individual or master antennas used for receiving television or other broadcast signals.

4. The licensee shall prevent unnecessary damage to streets and property by installing cables or conduits underground in new single-family subdivisions at the same time and in the same trench as telephone, electric, or other similar services are installed; given reasonable notice, the licensee shall install underground cable or conduit in all new subdivisions of five or more dwelling units within the service area at the same time and in the same trench as telephone, electric, or similar services are installed. Cable need not be installed or activated until the new subdivision meets the criteria established for line extensions.

C. Maintenance Specifications.

1. The licensee shall construct, install and maintain its cable system in an orderly and workmanlike manner. The safety of the general public, the licensee’s employees, the employees of the utility companies and all nearby property owners shall be a primary concern.

2. All cables are to be installed, to the maximum extent possible, parallel with electric and telephone distribution facilities. Multiple-cable configurations shall be arranged in parallel and bundled to the maximum extent possible.

3. As between licensee and the Town, the licensee shall be solely and completely responsible for the actions taken by any contractor or other agent employed to construct or install the licensee’s facilities on streets as well as on public or private property.

4. The licensee shall give prior written notice, as set forth later in this article, of its intent to place underground facilities.

5. In addition, the licensee shall comply with all other Town, state and federal laws and regulations which may be applicable to its operations.

6. A licensee shall have available at all hours personnel capable of responding to emergency conditions requiring immediate repair to any facility owned by the state, county, Town or the gas, electric and telephone utilities, as well as pipeline companies or similar industries. The licensee shall respond to normal requests for location of its facilities within forty-eight (48) hours. The licensee shall be a member of the One Call Notification Center, or comply with state underground law, for its service area.

In the event that licensee property, or the facilities and equipment of unauthorized cable communication providers, has been installed in a street or other dedicated public right-of-way without complying with the requirements of this chapter, or the license has been terminated, revoked or expired, or the use of any licensee property is discontinued for any reason for a continuous period of three months, licensee or any unauthorized cable communication provider shall, at its sole expense on the demand of the Council, remove promptly from the street all licensee or unauthorized cable communication provider property other than that which the Council may permit to be abandoned in place. Upon such removal of subject property, licensee or unauthorized cable communication provider shall promptly restore the street or other public places from which the subject property was removed to a condition as near as possible to its prior condition. Subject property no longer in service may be left in place with the approval of and in a manner prescribed by the Council. Upon abandonment of said property in place, licensee or unauthorized cable communication provider shall deliver to the Council an instrument transferring ownership of the subject abandoned property to the Town. Any cost arising from compliance with this provision shall be borne by the licensee or unauthorized cable communication provider.

D. Use of Streets.

1. A licensee must utilize, with the owner’s permission, existing poles, conduits or such other facilities whenever possible. Underground street, sidewalk and driveway crossings not using existing conduits shall be bored unless specific Council approval is received. A licensee may install its own poles only when approved by the Council and subject to whatever reasonable terms the Council requires.

2. All transmission lines and other equipment must be installed and located to minimize interference with the rights and reasonable convenience of public and private property owners. The Council reserves the right to issue such reasonable rules and regulations concerning the installation and maintenance of cable systems in the public rights-of-way, as may be consistent with this chapter, state and federal law.

3. The licensee shall have at all times up-to-date route maps showing trunk and distribution lines. Licensee shall make all such maps available for review by the appropriate Town personnel.

4. Suitable safety devices and practices as required by Town, state and federal laws, ordinances, regulations and permits must be used during construction and maintenance of a cable system.

5. A licensee must remove, replace or modify at its own expense, any of its facilities within any public right-of-way when required to do so by the Town Manager to allow the Town to change, maintain, repair, improve or eliminate a public thoroughfare. Nothing in this article shall prevent licensee from seeking and obtaining reimbursement from sources other than the Town.

6. On streets where electrical and telephone utility wiring are located underground, either at the time of initial construction or subsequently, the cable must also be located underground at the licensee’s expense. Between a street or road and subscriber’s residence, the cable must be located underground if both electrical and telephone utility wiring are located underground. If either electric or telephone are aerial, licensee may install aerial cable except where a property owner requests underground installation and agrees to bear the additional cost over aerial installation.

7. A licensee must obtain any required permits before doing any excavation or causing disturbance to public thoroughfares or private property as a result of its construction or operations and must restore to their former condition such private property and public thoroughfares, the latter in a manner consistent with all applicable rules, regulations, resolutions or other Town Manager requirements relative to construction, repair or maintenance in public rights-of-way. If such restoration is not satisfactorily performed within a reasonable time in the opinion of the Town Manager, the Town Manager may, after prior notice to licensee, cause the repairs to be made at the expense of the licensee. The Town Manager may inspect ongoing construction and require a licensee to halt construction where the Town Manager finds the construction to be in noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter, the license agreement or a permit.

8. Prior to commencement of underground construction a licensee must have complied with the following requirements:

a. Have requested and received clearance from utilities in the area of construction;

b. Where new construction will be on private property or in public rights-of-way adjoining private property, have provided no less than seven days’ written notice by mail or hand delivered to all such property occupants. The notice shall include the name, address and toll-free phone number that the affected person may call for more information or to lodge a complaint.

9. At the request of any person holding a valid building moving permit and upon sufficient notice, the licensee must temporarily raise, lower or cut its wires as necessary to facilitate such move upon not less than seventy-two (72) hours’ advance notice. The direct expense of such temporary move must be paid by the permit holder, and the licensee may require payment in advance.

E. System Services and Capability.

1. The following minimum requirements for facilities and services apply to licenses. The Council may require that a licensee exceed these minimum requirements.

a. Standard installation and basic service to public buildings may be required without charge in accordance with A.R.S. § 9-1442. Licensee may be required to make available one service outlet to a conveniently accessible point in each school, police station, fire station and Town hall or other facility or building located within the license area and used for public purposes as may be designated by the Town Manager. The installation charge to each occupant, if any, would not exceed licensee’s direct cost (time and material). There may also be a minimum monthly service charge at the above locations.

b. A licensee must design its system to allow the Council to interrupt audio portions of the cable service in an emergency to deliver information to subscribers.

2. The Council may waive minimum requirements for licenses where the applicant demonstrates that such waiver is in the public interest.

3. All access channel operations must conform to the requirements of A.R.S. § 9-1442. (19-18, Amended, 12/03/2019)