Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 677

Public Act No. 08-159

AN ACT CONCERNING THIRD-PARTY NONPROFIT COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDERS AND COMMUNITY ANTENNA TELEVISION COMPANIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Any third-party nonprofit community access provider serving six municipalities, one of which has a population of more than one hundred thirty thousand, shall, upon request from any town organization, authority, body or official within its service territory, provide written consent, pursuant to its service provider agreements, for said town organization, authority, body or official to (1) operate education and government public access channels in that town, and (2) engage freely and directly the community antenna television company providing services in that town to use their headend equipment for dissemination of town-specific community access programming on such channels. Said third-party nonprofit community access provider must grant such written consent to said requesting town organization, authority, body or official within three business days. Written consent not provided within three business days shall be deemed granted.

(b) If a third-party nonprofit provider fails to provide written consent within three days, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Department of Public Utility and Control shall, upon a request from a town organization, authority, body or official within the service territory of that third-party nonprofit community access provider serving six municipalities, one of which has a population of more than one hundred thirty thousand, (1) terminate, revoke or rescind such third party nonprofit provider's service agreement to provide public access programming within one hundred eighty days, and (2) reopen the application process to secure a community access provider for each of the towns within the affected service territory.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) A community antenna television company, a certified competitive video service provider that was providing service as a community antenna television company pursuant to section 16-331 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes on October 1, 2007, or a holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority that provides services within a service territory of a third-party nonprofit community access provider that serves six municipalities, one of which has a population of more than one hundred thirty thousand, shall direct the sum of one hundred thousand dollars per year from the funds collected from subscribers in said service territory that it provides to the existing third-party nonprofit community access provider serving six municipalities, one of which has a population of more than one hundred thirty thousand, directly to the service territory's community antenna television advisory council for developing town-specific education and government community access programming.

(b) A community antenna television advisory council that receives funds pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall distribute said funds in their entirety to a town organization, authority, body or official in the service territory of a third-party nonprofit community access provider serving six municipalities, one of which has a population of more than one hundred thirty thousand, to support the development of production and programming capabilities for town-specific education and government public access programming, pursuant to grant procedures and processes established by said council.

(c) Any community antenna television advisory council that receives funds pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall report annually to the Department of Public Utility Control all completed or planned disbursements of funds and certify that said funds were spent in their entirety and used for the public good in the creation of town-specific education and government public access programming for at least one of the towns in its service territory.

Approved June 12, 2008