CHAPTER 289*
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITY CONTROL:
COMMUNITY ANTENNA TELEVISION SYSTEMS
AND COMPETITIVE VIDEO SERVICE PROVIDERS

      *Cited. 159 C. 320. Cited. 192 C. 506.

Table of Contents

Sec. 16-330. Definition.
Sec. 16-331. Certificate of public convenience and necessity. Advisory councils. Franchise terms. Regulations. Community needs assessment.
Sec. 16-331a. Community access programming and operations.
Sec. 16-331b. Members of community antenna advisory councils to serve without compensation.
Sec. 16-331c. Community antenna television companies' contribution to community antenna advisory councils.
Sec. 16-331d. Community antenna television advisory council vacancies and conflict of interest of members.
Sec. 16-331e. Certificate of video franchise authority.
Sec. 16-331f. Certified competitive video service provider build-out requirements, rate regulation and service to multiunit residential buildings.
Sec. 16-331g. Discrimination based on income prohibited.
Sec. 16-331h. Certified competitive video service community access programming.
Sec. 16-331i. State-wide Video Advisory Council. Membership. Duties. Funding.
Sec. 16-331j. Video service provider offerings, charges, privacy policy, billing and billing disputes.
Sec. 16-331k. Video programming and rate changes.
Sec. 16-331l. Interrupted video service.
Sec. 16-331m. Video service providers' closed captioning and emergency broadcast systems.
Sec. 16-331n. Free video service for libraries and schools.
Sec. 16-331o. Imposition of civil penalties by the department.
Sec. 16-331p. Certificate of cable franchise authority in franchise areas in which certified competitive video service providers are offering video service.
Sec. 16-331q. Requirements for holders of certificates of cable franchise authority.
Sec. 16-331r. Discrimination based on income prohibited.
Sec. 16-331s. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority: Community access programming and operations.
Sec. 16-331t. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority: Advisory council.
Sec. 16-331u. Cable franchise authority companies' offerings, charges, privacy policy, billing and billing disputes.
Sec. 16-331v. Cable franchise authority companies' programming and rate changes.
Sec. 16-331w. Interrupted cable franchise authority service.
Sec. 16-331x. Cable franchise authority companies' closed captioning and emergency broadcast systems.
Sec. 16-331y. Free service for libraries and schools provided by holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority.
Sec. 16-331z. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority subject to federal and state laws and regulations. Exceptions.
Sec. 16-331aa. Imposition of civil penalties by the department.
Sec. 16-331bb. Municipal video competition trust account.
Sec. 16-331cc. Public, educational and governmental programming and education technology investment account. Tax. Penalty and interest. One-time transfer.
Sec. 16-331dd. Municipal electric utilities' eligibility to be a certified competitive video service provider.
Sec. 16-331ee. State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council. Membership.
Sec. 16-331ff. Certain third-party nonprofit community access provider requirements re education and government access channels and town-specific community access programming.
Sec. 16-331gg. Funds for development of town-specific education and government community access programming. Distribution of funds. Report to Department of Public Utility Control re disbursement of funds.
Sec. 16-332. Leases by public service companies of facilities for community antenna purposes.
Sec. 16-333. Regulations: Safety of operations, facility construction, system installation, community access channel, personal privacy protections, carriage of television broadcast signals, subscriber inquiries and complaints.
Sec. 16-333a. Multiunit residential buildings service and wiring. Right to use antenna. Regulations for owner compensation. Civil penalty.
Sec. 16-333b. Service to franchise area. Underground service lines.
Sec. 16-333c. Availability of equipment for deaf or hearing impaired subscribers.
Sec. 16-333d. Discrimination among subscribers prohibited.
Sec. 16-333e. Credit or refund for interrupted service.
Sec. 16-333f. Programming and rate changes. Regulatory authority. Industry cooperation.
Sec. 16-333g. Free basic service for libraries and schools.
Sec. 16-333h. Extension of service to schools. Instructional channels.
Sec. 16-333i. Procedures for restoring interrupted service and improving substandard service.
Sec. 16-333j. Community access support. Investigation. Standards. Monitoring by advisory councils.
Sec. 16-333k. Office operating requirements. Office hours. Complaint or dispute procedures.
Sec. 16-333l. Company offerings and charges. Billing and billing dispute procedures.
Sec. 16-333m. Limitations on charges for disconnection or downgrade of service.
Sec. 16-333n. Penalty for reduction of community antenna television service without notice.
Sec. 16-333o. Rate regulation of community antenna television systems.
Sec. 16-333p. Broadcast television station markets. Request to Federal Communications Commission.

      Sec. 16-330. Definition. Section 16-330 is repealed.

      (1963, P.A. 425, S. 1; P.A. 85-292, S. 3; 85-509, S. 10, 11.)

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      Sec. 16-331. Certificate of public convenience and necessity. Advisory councils. Franchise terms. Regulations. Community needs assessment. (a) No person, association or corporation, or a municipality which owns or operates one or more plants for the manufacture or distribution of electricity pursuant to section 7-213, shall construct or operate a community antenna television system without having first obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Department of Public Utility Control certifying that the person, firm or corporation is qualified pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section to operate such a service within the territory specified in such certificate. The department may issue more than one such certificate for any franchise area or portion of a franchise area. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33-645, any such certificate shall authorize the holder thereof to occupy public highways to the extent required to provide community antenna television system service. A certificate shall be issued only after written application for the same has been made to the department, accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars, and public hearing has been held thereon. No certificate shall be sold or transferred without the approval of the department. For due cause shown, the department may amend, suspend or revoke any such certificate. If a certificate is not exercised within two years from the date of issue, the department may revoke the certificate. The department may specify in the certificate at the time of issue and from time to time thereafter such terms and conditions as the public interest may require.

      (b) In determining whether a new certificate shall be issued or an existing certificate transferred, the Department of Public Utility Control shall only take into consideration the suitability of the applicant or, if the applicant is a corporation, of its management, the financial responsibility of the applicant and the ability of the applicant to perform efficiently the service for which authority is requested. In the case of an application filed on or after October 1, 1981, (1) if the applicant or an affiliate thereof is the holder of one or more other certificates in the state, the department shall also consider the possible adverse effects of increasing the concentration of ownership of community antenna television systems and related services, which would result from granting the application and (2) suitability of the applicant shall include consideration of participating owners resident in the proposed service area as well as involvement in local civic and community activities. In considering concentration of ownership the department shall only take into account the following factors: (A) Federal and state antitrust and unfair trade practices laws, regulations and policies and (B) the reduced ability of the department to make comparisons with other certificate holders. In the case of an application filed on or after January 1, 1983, for the approval of the transfer of an existing certificate, the department shall also (i) consult with the advisory council established by regulation for the franchise area specified in the certificate and, (ii) if the applicant or an affiliate thereof is the holder of one or more other certificates in the state, consider the adequacy of the service provided by such holder in the franchise areas specified in such certificate or certificates. The department may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this subsection.

      (c) (1) A representative of a community antenna television company issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity in accordance with this section shall, twice a year, arrange for and hold a meeting with the advisory council established, in accordance with regulations adopted by the department in accordance with chapter 54, for the franchise area served by such company. (2) The department shall designate an advisory council as an intervenor in any contested case before the department involving the community antenna television company which the council is advising. Such company shall provide to the chairperson of its advisory council a copy of any report, notice or other document it files with the department. If a community antenna television company fails or refuses to furnish adequate service to any customer, the advisory council for the franchise area served by the company may file a written petition with the department alleging the failure or refusal. The department shall hold a hearing on such petition and, not later than one hundred fifty days after receiving the petition, shall issue a written decision on the petition. The company shall thereafter furnish service to the customer in accordance with the conditions prescribed under the department's decision. (3) Each community antenna television company shall, every six months, provide on bills, bill inserts or letters to subscribers, and shall prominently post in the company's primary subscriber service area and community access facility, a notice indicating the name and an address of the chairperson of the company's advisory council and describing the responsibilities of the advisory council. Each such company shall provide its advisory council with an opportunity to review such notice prior to distributing or posting the notice.

      (d) (1) An initial certificate issued prior to June 1, 1988, shall grant a franchise for fifteen years, provided that for certificates issued prior to January 1, 1975, the initial franchise term shall be deemed to end for four such companies each year, starting in 1989, in order of those companies having the highest gross revenues under chapter 211 or 212a during the calendar year ending December 31, 1982. An initial, renewal or transfer certificate issued on or after June 1, 1988, shall grant a franchise for a term of not less than five years and not more than ten years, except that under special circumstances, as described in subdivision (2), a franchise may be granted for a term of more than ten years but not more than fifteen years. The department shall have the discretion to determine the appropriate length of a franchise term, initial, renewal or transfer, and in making its decision shall consider the following without limitation: (A) The operator's past performance in terms of meeting the needs of the cable-related community; (B) the operator's past performance in terms of complying with the material terms of the existing franchise; (C) the operator's compliance with department regulations and the general statutes; (D) the ability of the operator's management to properly operate the franchise; (E) the operator's effectiveness in dealing with consumer requests, complaints and billing questions or disputes; (F) the operator's effectiveness in dealing with the advisory council; (G) the quality and diversity of the operator's programming; (H) the quality of the operator's community access programming, including public access, educational access and governmental access programming, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (3) of this subsection; (I) the quality of the operator's equipment and facilities; (J) the operator's proposals for future extensions and upgrading to technologically advanced equipment, facilities and systems; (K) the operator's past performance in terms of meeting the needs of the cable-related community by providing African-American and Hispanic programming; (L) the operator's good faith efforts, as determined by the department, to provide service, when practicable, to all customers within the service area; (M) the operator's past performance in making available addressable converters, traps or other devices or services which enable subscribers to voluntarily block transmission of specific programming to their homes or places of business; and (N) the applicant's provision of innovative services, including audio services, information services, electronic publishing and information concerning the proceedings of the General Assembly and legislative committees.

      (2) Under special circumstances, the department in its discretion, may issue, renew or transfer a franchise for a term of not more than fifteen years if the franchisee has committed itself, as outlined in the franchise agreement, to provide or maintain technologically advanced equipment, facilities and systems, as determined by the department, to enhance and promote technologically advanced educational programming and to comply with specific quality of service standards, including, but not limited to, the time between installation and repair following a subscriber request, the response time to consumer complaints and the quality of the operator's customer service policies and practices.

      (3) In evaluating the quality of community access programming the department shall consider, without limitation, (A) compliance with federal laws governing noncommercial educational broadcast stations and public broadcast stations, and state laws governing community access, including, but not limited to, sections 16-333-31 to 16-333-36, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies; (B) compliance with the terms of the franchise certificate, which apply to community access; and (C) compliance with requirements involving community access contained in any order of the department which applies to the community antenna television system.

      (4) If the department, on or after June 1, 1988, approves the transfer of a certificate, the franchise term of such transferred certificate shall be the remaining duration of the franchise term originally granted unless the department grants a different term, the appropriate length of which shall be determined by the department under this subsection. A certificate may be renewed for an additional term, the appropriate length of which shall be determined by the department under this subsection, if the department finds that the holder of the certificate has complied with the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC 546.

      (5) The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54, establishing procedures and standards for the renewal of certificates issued to community antenna television companies. Such regulations shall, without limitation, (A) incorporate the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC 546, (B) require the department to consult with the advisory council for the franchise area served by the certificate holder before making a decision concerning the renewal of the certificate, (C) require any holder of a certificate which is not renewed by the department to continue to operate the franchise for one year after the end of its term or until a successor is chosen and ready to assume control of the franchise, whichever is sooner, (D) establish standards for the content of notices sent to cable subscribers concerning public hearings for franchise renewal proceedings which standards shall include, without limitation, the requirements specified in subdivision (6) of this subsection, (E) establish standards to ensure that the costs and expenses of a municipality constructing, purchasing or operating a community antenna television company are accurately attributed to such company, and (F) establish quality standards for the instructional and educational channels. The department shall adopt regulations pursuant to this subdivision in conjunction with the Commission for Educational Technology.

      (6) Any community antenna television company which applies to the department for the renewal of a franchise shall: (A) Make available for public inspection a copy of the company's proposal for renewal at the town hall, each public library and the primary senior center, as determined by the chief executive official of each municipality of its franchise area and at the company's primary customer service center and community access facility, and (B) notify each subscriber of any public hearing for a franchise renewal, which notices shall be mailed by first class mail to each subscriber not less than fourteen days in advance of any public hearing and shall state in plain language the time, place, date, address and subject matter of the hearing, and in boldface print shall state that public participation is encouraged. The notice shall also provide information concerning the locations where the company's proposal for renewal may be reviewed, and shall not contain any billing, promotional or extraneous information.

      (7) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if at any time after the grant of an initial or renewal term of a franchise, the community antenna television company and the third-party nonprofit community access provider reach an agreement that the community antenna television company will provide a capital contribution to such provider in a mutually agreeable amount solely for the purpose of the upgrade or replacement of capital equipment, the Department of Public Utility Control shall grant a two-year extension of such franchise term, provided the community antenna television company commits to not pass through said capital contribution in subscriber rates or community access fees. In a franchise area with more than one community access provider, an agreement shall be deemed to be reached when two-thirds or more of the community access providers within that franchise independently reach agreement with the community antenna television company. Only those community access providers reaching agreement shall receive the funding mutually agreed upon pursuant to this subdivision. Such extension shall not be a contested case proceeding and shall be applicable to no more than one time per franchise term.

      (e) No certificate issued by the department under this section for the construction or operation of a community antenna television system shall be construed to authorize the provision of noncable communications service. For the purposes of section 16-247c, noncable communications service shall not be deemed to be service which is provided by a community antenna television company pursuant to a special charter or pursuant to a certificate of public convenience or necessity issued pursuant to this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect service which is both authorized and preempted pursuant to federal law.

      (f) Each applicant for a certificate shall finance the reasonable costs of a community needs assessment, conducted by an independent consultant and developed jointly by the department, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the local advisory council and the applicant, which assessment shall analyze a community's future cable-related needs and, if applicable, shall provide the department with assistance in analyzing an operator's past performance, as defined in subsection (d) of this section. The department shall supervise the assessment and provide the independent consultant with the date upon which the assessment shall be completed and filed with the department. Such community needs assessment shall be conducted in lieu of the requirement in subdivision (12) of subsection (c) of section 16-333-39 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies. In its final decision on the application for a certificate, the department shall state the reasons for not implementing any key recommendations made in any such needs assessment. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a franchise area which is subject to effective competition, as defined in 47 USC 543, as from time to time amended, at the time the application is received by the department.

      (g) Each certificate of public convenience and necessity for a franchise issued pursuant to this section shall be nonexclusive, and each such certificate issued for a franchise in any area of the state where an existing franchise is currently operating shall not contain more favorable terms or conditions than those imposed on the existing franchise. This subsection shall not apply to the length of the term of such certification as may be determined pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. A certificate may require a franchise to enter into good faith negotiations to facilitate community access television interconnection with an existing or potential competitor franchise.

      (h) Each person, firm or corporation issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to this section shall provide financial and infrastructure information to the department as it requests.

      (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (d) of this section, the department shall not renew a franchise for a term of more than five years if the department determines that the person, association or corporation, during the term of the prior franchise, has substantially failed to (1) deal effectively with consumer requests, complaints and billing or service questions and disputes; (2) provide quality and diversity of programming; (3) maintain fair and reasonable rates for basic and extended basic service, and associated equipment, taking into consideration the quality of service and programming provided to consumers; (4) provide quality community access programming, including public access, educational access, governmental access programming and the Connecticut Television Network or its successor; or (5) meet commitments for service extension to customers within the franchise area. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize the department to set specific rates for service or associated equipment.

      (1963, P.A. 425, S. 2, 3; P.A. 75-486, S. 1, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 79-533, S. 2, 4; P.A. 80-482, S. 160, 348; P.A. 81-393, S. 1; 81-472, S. 157; P.A. 82-221, S. 2, 3; P.A. 83-49; 83-149; 83-584, S. 2; P.A. 85-292, S. 1; 85-509, S. 6, 11; P.A. 87-415, S. 8, 13; 87-454, S. 1, 3; 87-580, S. 2, 4; P.A. 88-202, S. 1, 10; P.A. 90-12; 90-79, S. 1; P.A. 91-244, S. 1; P.A. 92-137, S. 3-5; 92-146, S. 1, 5; P.A. 94-22, S. 1; 94-83, S. 15, 16; 94-229, S. 2, 4; P.A. 95-17; 95-150, S. 1; P.A. 96-271, S. 162, 254; P.A. 98-121, S. 2, 3; P.A. 00-187, S. 51, 52, 75; P.A. 03-135, S. 23; P.A. 07-253, S. 36-38.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 replaced authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-533 provided that certificate grants franchise for unlimited time unless revoked or reassigned in Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (c); P.A. 80-482 made division of public utility control an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 81-393, in Subsec. (a) deleted provision that a certificate grants a franchise for an unlimited period and authorized department to amend certificates to include nonfranchised municipalities, in Subsec. (b) added provisions requiring department to consider concentration of ownership and owners resident in service area and in Subsec. (c) required officer of company to arrange for meeting with advisory council, department to designate advisory council as intervenor and company to provide advisory council with copies of department filings; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 82-221 applied criteria for granting certificate to transfer of existing certificate; P.A. 83-49 amended Subsec. (c) to authorize advisory councils to petition department re service deficiencies; P.A. 83-149 added Subsec. (d), limiting the duration of franchise certificates to 15 years and providing for renewal procedure; P.A. 83-584 amended Subsec. (b) to require department, in reviewing application filed on or after January 1, 1983, for transfer of existing certificate, to consult with advisory council and consider adequacy of service by applicant in other franchise areas and amended Subsec. (d) to allow transferee of certificate issued for initial franchise term to have full 15-year term; P.A. 85-292 divided Subsec. (c) into Subdivs., required, in Subdiv. (1) advisory council regulations to be adopted in accordance with chapter 54, and added Subdiv. (3) re disclosure of advisory council information to subscribers; P.A. 85-509 amended Subsec. (a) to allow more than one certificate to be issued for any franchise area or portion of a franchise area and to delete provision authorizing department to amend certificate to include municipalities not included in any other franchise, amended Subsec. (b) to delete provision requiring department to consider public need for proposed service in determining whether to issue a new certificate or transfer an existing certificate and limited department's consideration to other factors listed in Subsec. (b), amended Subsec. (d)(1) to allow certificate to be renewed if department finds holder has complied with provisions of P.L. 98-549 re certificate renewals, amended Subsec. (d)(2) to require department to adopt regulations for renewals incorporating provisions of P.L. 98-549 and added Subsec. (e) re noncable communications service; P.A. 87-415 amended Subsec. (e) by deleting exception for service authorized by plan implemented in accordance with Sec. 16-247d; P.A. 87-454 amended Subsec. (d)(1) by changing franchise term from 15 years to 5 or 10 years; P.A. 87-580 changed effective date of P.A. 87-454 from July 2, 1987, to June 1, 1988; P.A. 88-202 amended Subsec. (d)(1) to (3) by changing the length of an initial, renewal or transfer franchise term for a term of not less than 5 and not more than 15 years and detailed the factors the department shall consider when granting a 15-year term and amended Subsec. (d)(4) substituting "shall" for "may" concerning the department's promulgation of regulations; P.A. 90-12 added new Subsec. (f) concerning the provision of public access programming, inserted new Subsec. (d)(3) re evaluation of public access programming quality, renumbering remaining Subdivs. accordingly and making technical change in Subsec. (d)(1) to clearly distinguish between public access and educational access; P.A. 90-79 added new Subsec. (h) establishing a community needs assessment; P.A. 91-244 added a new Subsec. (d)(1)(K) requiring analysis of operators performance in providing African-American and Hispanic programming, in Subsec. (d)(4) replaced numeric Subpara. indicators with alphabetic indicators, added a new Subsec. (d)(5)(D) establishing the content of notices sent to subscribers concerning public hearings for franchise renewals, added a new Subsec. (d)(6) requiring a company to provide information concerning franchise renewal proceedings to subscribers and in Subsec. (g) detailed required contents of public access providers report to the department; P.A. 92-137 amended Subsec. (a) by including provision authorizing certain municipalities to operate a cable company, added Subsec. (d)(1)(L) re an operator's good faith effort to provide service to all customers within the service area and Subsec. (d)(5) re standards to ensure all costs and expenses are accurately attributed to a municipal cable company, and added a new Subsec. (i) re terms of certificate of public convenience and necessity for a franchise operating in an area where an existing franchise operates (Revisor's note: The words "subsection (d) of this" were substituted editorially by the Revisors for the reference to "section 16-331" at the end of Subsec. (i), for consistency with statutory language); P.A. 92-146 added provision re advanced educational programmingin Subsec. (d)(2) and in Subsec. (d)(5) added a new Subpara. establishing quality standards for instructional and educational programming; P.A. 94-22 changed "public access" to "community access" for consistency, amended Subsec. (d)(1) by describing community access programming, amended Subsec. (d)(3) by adding reference to noncommercial educational broadcast stations and public broadcast stations, amended Subsec. (d)(4) and (5) by replacing references to the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 with references to the Communications Act of 1934, amended Subsec. (f)(1) by adding provision re review of rules, regulations, policies and procedures, amended Subsec. (f)(2) and (5) by deleting "community-based" and "nonprofit" for consistency of reference, added new Subsec. (f)(3) and (4) and renumbered Subsec. (f)(2) and (3); P.A. 94-83 amended Subsec. (e) by deleting "except as provided under section 16-247b" and specified the certificate of public convenience or necessity is "issued pursuant to this section", effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 94-229 added Subsec. (d)(1)(M) and (n) re availability of devices or services which enable subscribers to voluntarily block transmission and re innovative services, and added Subsec. (j) re financial and infrastructure information, effective June 8, 1994 (Revisor's note: The reference in Subdiv. (N) to the "state legislature" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "the general assembly" for statutory consistency); P.A. 95-17 amended Subsec. (g) by changing community access report date from January first to February fifteenth, but failed to take effect, P.A. 95-150 having taken precedence; P.A. 95-150 deleted former Subsecs. (f) and (g) re community access programming and operations, relettered Subsecs. (h) to (j) as (f) to (h) and in Subsec. (f) added provision re franchise area subject to effective competition; P.A. 96-271 amended Subsec. (a) to replace reference to Sec. 33-286 with Sec. 33-645, effective January 1, 1997; P.A. 98-121 amended Subsec. (c)(1) by changing "officer" to "representative" and amended Subsec. (d)(6) by changing "franchise's advisory council" to "chief executive official"; P.A. 00-187 amended Subsec. (d)(2) to make a technical change and amended Subsec. (d)(5) to substitute the Commission for Educational Technology for a committee that was eliminated under the act, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 03-135 added Subsec. (i) re nonrenewal for a term of more than 5 years under certain conditions; P.A. 07-253 added Subsec. (d)(7) re capital contributions to upgrade or replace capital equipment, amended Subsec. (f) to change reference for definition of operator's past performance from Sec. 16-333l(d) to Subsec. (d) of section and add requirement that department state its reasons for not implementing any key recommendations in its final decision and amended Subsec. (g) to provide that certificates may require good faith negotiations re community access television interconnections.

      The circumstance of common ownership is a proper consideration in determining the suitability of the applicant by the commission. Other things being equal, the public interest would best be served by the grant of franchises to independent CATV operators rather than to those financially affiliated with broadcasters. 159 C. 317. Cited. 192 C. 506. Cited. 235 C. 334.

      Subsec. (a):

      The public at large is the beneficiary of this subsec., not incumbent franchisees. 247 C. 95.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 242 C. 152.

      Subsec. (d):

      Cited. 242 C. 152.

      Subsec. (g):

      Enacted to protect interests of incumbent cable operators and creates in them a vested interest to be free from unfair competition and does not afford an incumbent standing to claim that it was aggrieved by department's alleged violations of other subsecs. of this section. Creates a statutory exception to the general rule that creation of competition does not constitute aggrievement to an existing competitor which is limited to analysis of whether the terms and conditions of the conmpeting franchise are more favorable than those of the incumbent franchise. A market specific inquiry of each term within incumbent's certificate is not required. Department's sole duty is to ensure that specific terms of a competitor's certificate are not more favorable than those of incumbents. 247 C. 95.

      Subsec. (h):

      Cited. 242 C. 152.

      Subsec. (i):

      Cited. 242 C. 152.


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      Sec. 16-331a. Community access programming and operations. (a) As used in this section, "multichannel video programming distributor" means a multichannel video programming distributor, as defined in 47 CFR 76.1300, as from time to time amended, and includes an owner of an open video system, as defined in 47 CFR 76.1500, as from time to time amended.

      (b) Each company or organization selected pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, in consultation with the franchise's advisory council, shall provide facilities, equipment, and technical and managerial support to enable the production of meaningful community access programming within its franchise area. Each company shall include all its community access channels in its basic service package. Each company or organization shall annually review its rules, regulations, policies and procedures governing the provision of community access programming. Such review shall include a period for public comment, a public meeting and consultation with the franchise's advisory council.

      (c) If a community-based nonprofit organization in a franchise area desires to assume responsibility for community access operations, it shall, upon timely petition to the department, be granted intervenor status in a franchise proceeding held pursuant to this section. The department shall assign this responsibility to the most qualified community-based nonprofit organization or the company based on the following criteria: (1) The recommendations of the advisory council and of the municipalities in the franchise area; (2) a review of the organization's or the company's performance in providing community access programming; (3) the operating plan submitted by the organization and the company for providing community access programming; (4) the experience in community access programming of the organization; (5) the organization's and the company's proposed budget, including expenses for salaries, consultants, attorneys, and other professionals; (6) the quality and quantity of the programming to be created, promoted or facilitated by the organization or the company; (7) a review of the organization's procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state law, including the regulations of Connecticut state agencies; and (8) any other criteria determined to be relevant by the department. If the department selects an organization to provide community access operations, the company shall provide financial and technical support to the organization in an amount to be determined by the department. On petition of the Office of Consumer Counsel or the franchise's advisory council or on its own motion, the department shall hold a hearing, with notice, on the ability of the organization to continue its responsibility for community access operations. In its decision following such a hearing, the department may reassign the responsibility for community access operations to another organization or the company in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

      (d) Each company or organization shall conduct outreach programs and promote its community access services. Such outreach and promotion may include, but not be limited to (1) broadcasting cross-channel video announcements, (2) distributing information throughout the franchise area and not solely to its subscribers, (3) including community access information in its regular marketing publications, (4) broadcasting character-generated text messages or video announcements on barker or access channels, (5) making speaking engagements, (6) holding open receptions at its community access facilities, and (7) in multitown franchise areas, encouraging the formation and development of local community access studios operated by volunteers or nonprofit operating groups.

      (e) Each company or organization shall adopt for its community access programming a scheduling policy which encourages programming diversity. Said scheduling policy shall include (1) limiting a program, except instructional access and governmental access programming, to thirteen weeks in any one time slot when a producer of another program requests the same time slot, (2) procedures for resolving program scheduling conflicts, and (3) other measures which the company or organization deems appropriate. A company or organization may consider the availability of a substantially similar time slot when making community access programming scheduling decisions.

      (f) In the case of any initial, transfer or renewal franchise proceeding held on or after October 1, 1990, the department may, on its own initiative, in the first six months of the second, fifth, eighth and eleventh years of the franchise term, review and evaluate the company's or the organization's provision of community access programming. The department shall conduct such review or evaluation in any such proceeding held on or after October 1, 1990, if the Consumer Counsel or any interested party petitions the department for such a review during the first six months of the review year. During any such review year, if an organization desires to provide community access operations it shall petition the department and the department shall follow the procedures and standards described in subsection (c) of this section in determining whether to assign to the organization the responsibility to provide such operations. No community access programming produced using the facilities or staff of an organization or company providing community access operations shall be utilized for commercial purposes without express prior written agreement between the producer of such programming and the organization or company providing community access operations the facilities or staff of which were used in the production of the programming. Such an agreement may include, without limitation, a provision regarding the producer and the company or organization sharing any profit realized from such programming so utilized. An organization providing community access operations shall consult with the company in the franchise area prior to making such an agreement.

      (g) No organization or company providing community access operations shall exercise editorial control over such programming, except as to programming that is obscene and except as otherwise allowed by applicable state and federal law. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit such organization or company from limiting the hours during which adult programs may be aired. Such organization or company may consult with the advisory council in determining what constitutes an adult program for purposes of this subsection.

      (h) Upon the request of the Office of Consumer Counsel or the franchise's advisory council, and for good cause shown the department shall require an organization responsible for community access operations to have an independent audit conducted at the expense of the organization. For purposes of this subsection, "good cause" may include, but not be limited to, the failure or refusal of such organization (1) to account for and reimburse the community access programming budget for its commercial use of community access programming facilities, equipment or staff, or for the allocation of such facilities, equipment or staff to functions not directly related to the community access operations of the franchise, (2) to carry over unexpended community access programming budget accounts at the end of each fiscal year, (3) to properly maintain community access programming facilities or equipment in good repair, or (4) to plan for the replacement of community access programming equipment made obsolete by technological advances. In response to any such request, the department shall state, in writing, the reasons for its determination.

      (i) Each company and nonprofit organization providing community access operations shall report annually to the department on or before February fifteenth. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to specify the information which shall be required in such report. Such information shall be necessary for the department to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (j) The advisory council shall review all community access programming of a company or organization within the franchise area which programming has been the subject of a complaint.

      (k) The department shall establish the amount that the company or organization responsible for community access operations shall receive for such operations from subscribers and from multichannel video programming distributors. The amount shall be five dollars per subscriber per year, adjusted annually by a percentage reflecting the increase or decrease of the consumer price index for the preceding calendar year, provided the department may increase or decrease the amount by not more than forty per cent of said amount for the subscribers and all multichannel video programming distributors within a franchise area after considering (1) the criteria set forth in subsection (c) of this section, (2) the level of public interest in community access operations in the franchise area, (3) the level of community need for educational access programming, (4) the level and breadth of participation in community access operations, (5) the adequacy of existing facilities, equipment and training programs to meet the current and future needs of the franchise area, and (6) any other factors determined to be relevant by the department. Prior to increasing or decreasing said amount, the department shall give notice and opportunity for a hearing to the company or multichannel video programming distributor and, where applicable, the organization responsible for community access programming. The amount shall be assessed once each year for each end user premises connected to an open video system, irrespective of the number of multichannel video programming distributors providing programming over the open video system. When the department issues, transfers or renews a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate a community antenna television system, the department shall include in the franchise agreement the amount that the company or organization responsible for community access operations shall receive for such operations from subscribers. The department shall conduct a proceeding to establish the amount that the company or organization responsible for community access operations shall receive for such operations from multichannel video programming distributors and the method of payment of said amount. The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

      (l) An organization assigned responsibility for community access operations which organization ceases to provide such operations shall transfer its assets to the successor organization assigned such responsibility or, if no successor organization is assigned such responsibility, to another nonprofit organization within the franchise area selected by the department.

      (m) On petition or its own motion, the department shall determine whether a franchise area is subject to effective competition, as defined in 47 USC 543, as from time to time amended. Upon a determination that a franchise area is subject to effective competition, the provisions of this section shall apply to multichannel video programming distributors operating in the franchise area, provided (1) where multichannel video programming distributors provide programming over a single open video system, the provisions of this section shall apply jointly and not separately to all such distributors providing programming on the same open video system, and (2) the provisions of subsection (k) of this section shall apply to multichannel video programming distributors whether or not such distributors operate in a franchise area subject to such effective competition.

      (n) No community antenna television company or nonprofit organization providing community access operations shall refuse to engage in good faith negotiation regarding interconnection of such operations with other community antenna television companies serving the same area. No school or facility owned or leased by a municipal government that possesses community access operations equipment shall unreasonably deny interconnection with or the use of such equipment to any such company or nonprofit organization. At the request of such a company or nonprofit organization providing community access operations, the department may facilitate the negotiation between such company or organization and any other community antenna television company regarding interconnection of community access operations.

      (o) Each company or organization shall consult with its advisory council in the formation of a community access programming policy, the adoption of the community access programming budget and the allocation of capital equipment and community access programming resources.

      (P.A. 87-580, S. 3, 4; P.A. 95-150, S. 2; P.A. 96-201; P.A. 98-121, S. 4; P.A. 07-253, S. 39-41.)

      History: P.A. 95-150 replaced previous provision re moratorium on transfer of certificates for community antenna television systems prior to June 1, 1988, with new Subsecs. (a) to (m) re community access programming and operations; P.A. 96-201 amended Subsec. (g) to add the exception for "programming that is obscene" and to add language re adult programming; P.A. 98-121 amended Subsecs. (a), (k) and (m) by changing references to video dialtone platforms or networks to open video systems, amended Subsec. (b) by requiring companies to include all community access channels in its basic service package, amended Subsec. (f) by adding "eleventh", amended Subsec. (i) by deleting list of information that must be in report and by requiring department to adopt regulations to specify such information and added new Subsec. (n) re interconnection of community access operations; P.A. 07-253 added Subsec. (d)(7) re multitown franchise areas, amended Subsec. (h) to define "good cause" and to require department to put reasons for its determination in writing if requested to do so and added Subsec. (o) re formation of community access programming policy, programming budget and allocation of equipment and resources.

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      Sec. 16-331b. Members of community antenna advisory councils to serve without compensation. Members of community antenna advisory councils established pursuant to section 16-331 shall serve without compensation. For the purposes of this section compensation shall include the receipt of any free or discounted cable television service, either basic or premium.

      (P.A. 89-182, S. 1.)

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      Sec. 16-331c. Community antenna television companies' contribution to community antenna advisory councils. Each community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, shall annually contribute to the advisory council in its franchise area an amount not less than two thousand dollars and to the State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council an amount not less than two hundred dollars. A local advisory council may at its option receive any or all of its funding through in-kind services of the community antenna television company. The State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council and each local advisory council shall annually, on January thirty-first, provide the Department of Public Utility Control with an accounting of any funding or services received.

      (P.A. 89-182, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1, S. 30; P.A. 07-253, S. 42.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1 changed annual deadline from January first to January thirty-first; P.A. 07-253 required a minimum $200 contribution to State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council and required said council to provide annual accounting.

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      Sec. 16-331d. Community antenna television advisory council vacancies and conflict of interest of members. (a) The chief elected official from the town in which a vacant seat exists on a community antenna television advisory council shall appoint a member to fill such vacancy if any other appointing authority fails to make an appointment within six months of the time in which a vacancy occurs.

      (b) No member of a community antenna television advisory council appointed by the chief elected official of a municipality, the board of education or the public libraries shall be an employee of a community antenna television company. For the purposes of this subsection, an employee includes any person working full or part time or performing any subcontracting or consulting services for the company.

      (P.A. 89-182, S. 3; P.A. 91-244, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 91-244 added a new Subsec. (b) prohibiting certain members of advisory councils from being employees of a cable company.

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      Sec. 16-331e. Certificate of video franchise authority. (a) An entity or person, other than a community antenna television company certified to provide community antenna television service pursuant to section 16-331 on or before October 1, 2007, or an affiliate, successor or assign of such community antenna television company, seeking to provide video service in the state on and after October 1, 2007, shall file with the Department of Public Utility Control an application for a certificate of video franchise authority, containing such information as required by this section. A community antenna television company may apply for a certificate of video franchise authority pursuant to this section for any service area in which it was not certified to provide community antenna television service pursuant to section 16-331 on or before October 1, 2007. The application shall be accompanied by a fee of one thousand dollars.

      (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, any entity, other than a community antenna television company certified to provide community antenna television service pursuant to section 16-331 on or before October 1, 2007, that was offering video service in the state on or before October 1, 2007, shall be required to file its application for a certificate of video franchise authority on or before October 31, 2007, and shall be allowed to continue to offer such video service while its application for a certificate of video franchise authority is pending.

      (c) The application shall include a completed affidavit submitted by the applicant and signed by an officer or general partner of the applicant, affirming: (1) The location of the applicant's principal place of business and the names of the applicant's principal executive officers; (2) that the applicant has filed or will timely file with the Federal Communications Commission all forms required by said commission in advance of offering video service in the state; (3) that the applicant agrees to comply with all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations and with all applicable orders of the department, including, but not limited to, those statutes, regulations and orders regarding the provision of video service by certified competitive video service providers and the use and occupation of public rights-of-way in the delivery of the video service by such providers; (4) that the applicant shall comply with the requirements of sections 16-331g to 16-331o, inclusive. The affidavit shall also include a description of the service area footprint to be served within the state, and such description shall be updated by the applicant before the expansion of video service to a previously undesignated service area, and a general description of the type or types of technologies the applicant will use to provide video service in its service area footprint, which may include wire line, satellite or any other alternative technology.

      (d) The department shall notify the applicant whether the application is complete or incomplete on or before the fifteenth calendar day after the applicant submits the application. The department shall limit its review of the application to whether it provides the information required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. In reviewing such application, the department shall not conduct a hearing or contested case proceeding in accordance with chapter 54. The department may submit written questions to the applicant and require written answers regarding the information provided, and may accept written comments and reply comments from the applicant, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the Attorney General and other interested companies, organizations and individuals. These written comments and reply comments shall be limited solely to the issue of whether the application complies with the requirements set forth in subsection (c) of this section.

      (e) The department shall issue a certificate of video franchise authority not later than thirty calendar days after notifying the applicant that the application was complete. The certificate issued by the department shall provide: (1) A grant of authority to provide video service as requested in the application; (2) a grant of authority to own, lease, maintain, operate, manage or control facilities in, under or over any public highway in the delivery of such service, subject to the laws of the state; and (3) a statement that the grant of authority is subject to lawful operation of the video service by the applicant or its successor in interest.

      (f) If the department finds that the applicant's application is incomplete, it shall specify with particularity the items in the application that are incomplete and permit the applicant to amend the application to cure any deficiency. The department shall issue a certificate of video franchise authority on or before thirty calendar days from its receipt of the amended and completed application.

      (g) The failure of the department to notify the applicant of the completeness or incompleteness of the application pursuant to subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed to constitute issuance of the certificate of video franchise authority.

      (h) The certificate of video franchise authority issued by the department is fully transferable to any successor in interest to the applicant to which it was initially granted. A notice of transfer shall be filed with the department not later than fourteen business days after the completion of such transfer. The certificate of video franchise authority issued by the department may be terminated by the certified competitive video service provider by submitting notice to the department.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 16-331f. Certified competitive video service provider build-out requirements, rate regulation and service to multiunit residential buildings. (a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall not require a certified competitive video service provider to comply with any facility build-out requirements or provide video service to any customer using any specific technology. The Department of Public Utility Control shall initiate a contested case proceeding, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, three years after the issuance of the certificate of video franchise authority to such provider to investigate the availability of the certified competitive video service provider's video services and report its findings to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and technology.

      (b) The department shall not impose any provision regulating rates charged by certified competitive video service providers, or impose any other requirements or conditions, except as set forth in sections 16-331e to 16-331o, inclusive.

      (c) The rights and responsibilities under section 16-333a regarding service and wiring to multiunit residential buildings shall apply to a certified competitive video service provider.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 16-331g. Discrimination based on income prohibited. A certified competitive video service provider shall not deny access to service to any group of potential residential subscribers based solely upon the income of the residents in the local area in which such group resides. An affected person may seek enforcement of this requirement by filing a complaint with the Department of Public Utility Control. A municipality within which the potential residential video service subscriber resides may be considered an affected person for purposes of this section.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 4.)

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      Sec. 16-331h. Certified competitive video service community access programming. (a) Not later than one hundred twenty days after the certified competitive video service provider begins offering service in a designated area pursuant to its certificate of video franchise authority, such provider shall provide capacity over its video service to allow community access programming, in its basic service package, in accordance with the following: (1) The certified competitive video service provider shall provide capacity equal to the number of community access channels currently offered by the incumbent community antenna television company in the given area; (2) the certified competitive video service provider shall provide funds for community access operations, as provided in subsection (k) of section 16-331a; (3) the certified competitive video service provider shall provide the transmission of community access programming with connectivity up to the first two hundred feet from the competitive video service provider's activated wireline video programming distribution facility located in the provider's designated service area and shall not provide additional requirements for the creation of any content; and (4) the community access programming shall be submitted to the certified competitive video service provider in a manner or form that is compatible with the technology or protocol utilized by said competitive video service provider to deliver video services over its particular network, and is capable of being accepted and transmitted by the provider, without requirement for additional alteration or change in the content by the provider.

      (b) A certified competitive video service provider and a community antenna television company or nonprofit organization providing community access operations shall engage in good faith negotiation regarding interconnection of community access operations where such interconnection is technically feasible or necessary. Interconnection may be accomplished by direct cable, microwave link, satellite or other reasonable method of connection. At the request of a competitive video service provider, community antenna television company or provider of community access operations, the Department of Public Utility Control may facilitate the negotiation for such interconnection.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 5; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 184.)

      History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 deleted former Subsec. (c) requiring certified competitive video service providers to provide transmission of the Connecticut Television Network, effective October 5, 2009.

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      Sec. 16-331i. State-wide Video Advisory Council. Membership. Duties. Funding. (a) There shall be a State-wide Video Advisory Council, whose membership is made up of one representative from each of the existing advisory councils established pursuant to section 16-331. A certified competitive video service provider shall biannually convene a meeting of said council. No member of the State-wide Video Advisory Council shall be an employee of a community antenna television company or a certified competitive video service provider. For the purpose of this subsection, an employee includes any person working full time or part time or performing any subcontracting or consulting services for a community antenna television company or a certified competitive video service provider.

      (b) The certified competitive video service provider shall provide funding to such State-wide Video Advisory Council in the amount of two thousand dollars per year.

      (c) Members of the State-wide Video Advisory Council shall serve without compensation. For the purpose of this subsection, compensation shall include the receipt of any free or discounted video service.

      (d) The Department of Public Utility Control shall designate the State-wide Video Advisory Council as an intervenor in any contested case proceeding before the department involving the certified competitive video service provider it advises. Such certified competitive video service provider shall provide to the chairperson of the State-wide Video Advisory Council a copy of any report, notice or other such document it files with the department in any applicable proceeding.

      (e) A certified competitive video service provider shall, every six months, provide on bills, bill inserts or letters to subscribers, a notice indicating the name and an address of the chairperson of the State-wide Video Advisory Council and describing the responsibilities of such advisory council. The State-wide Video Advisory Council shall have an opportunity to review such notice prior to its distribution.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 6.)

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      Sec. 16-331j. Video service provider offerings, charges, privacy policy, billing and billing disputes. (a) At the time of initial subscription, and annually thereafter, or upon request, each certified competitive video service provider shall provide subscribers with a description of (1) the video service offerings and current rates, (2) the provider's credit policies, including any finance charges or late payment charges, and (3) the provider's billing practices and complaint procedures.

      (b) Consistent with the provisions of 47 USC 551, at the time of entering into an agreement to provide video service to a subscriber, a certified competitive video service provider shall inform the subscriber of the provider's practices regarding the collection and use of personally identifiable customer information, including (1) the type of information collected, (2) the purposes for which it is used, (3) the extent and manner in which it is shared with unaffiliated third parties for purposes of enabling delivery of video service, and (4) the procedures in place to ensure the subscriber's right to privacy. A certified competitive video service provider shall not disclose personally identifiable customer information other than anonymous or aggregate data to unaffiliated third parties for their own marketing purposes without the consent of the subscriber.

      (c) A certified competitive video service provider shall implement an informal process for handling Department of Public Utility Control and customer inquiries, billing issues, service issues and other complaints. In the event an issue is not resolved through such informal process, a customer may request of the department a confidential, nonbinding mediation with the competitive video service provider, and a designated member of the department staff shall serve as the mediator. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the customer may file a formal complaint with the department. The department's sole jurisdiction over the complaint is to determine if the certified competitive video service provider is in compliance with sections 16-331f to 16-331n, inclusive. If the provider is found to be in noncompliance, the department shall order the certified competitive video service provider to cure such noncompliance within a reasonable period of time. Failure to comply may subject the certified competitive video service provider to civil penalties and revocation of the certificate, as provided in section 16-331o.

      (d) A certified competitive video service provider shall comply with the customer service requirements of 47 CFR 76.309(c) for its video services. A company issued a certificate of video franchise authority shall not be subject to any other state law or regulation or department order to the extent it imposes customer service requirements in excess of or more stringent than 47 CFR 76.309(c).

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 7.)

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      Sec. 16-331k. Video programming and rate changes. (a) Except when otherwise required by federal law, a certified competitive video service provider shall inform the Department of Public Utility Control of any planned programming or rate changes not less than thirty days before implementing such changes unless (1) such changes are required by law to be made in less than thirty days, or (2) in appropriate circumstances where such a shorter notice period is in the best interest of the company's subscribers.

      (b) Except when otherwise required by federal law, a certified competitive video service provider shall inform each subscriber, the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to technology and the chairperson of the State-wide Video Advisory Council of any planned elimination or reduction in any programming or any planned rate increases not less than thirty days before implementing such changes unless (1) such changes are required by law to be made in less than thirty days, or (2) the department prescribes a longer or shorter notice period in appropriate circumstances where such longer or shorter notice period is in the best interest of the company's subscribers. The State-wide Video Advisory Council may hold an advisory public hearing concerning the planned changes and may then make a recommendation to the company before the planned date of implementing the change.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 8.)

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      Sec. 16-331l. Interrupted video service. If video service provided by a certified competitive video service provider to a subscriber is interrupted for more than twenty-four continuous hours, such subscriber shall receive a credit or refund from the certified competitive video service provider in an amount that represents the proportionate share of such service not received in a billing period, provided such interruption is not caused by the subscriber.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 9.)

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      Sec. 16-331m. Video service providers' closed captioning and emergency broadcast systems. (a) A certified competitive video service provider shall make closed captioning available when simultaneously broadcast with video signals carried by the provider.

      (b) A certified competitive video service provider shall offer the concurrent rebroadcast of local television broadcast channels, or utilize another economically or technically feasible process for providing an appropriate message through the provider's video service in the event of a public safety emergency issued over the emergency broadcast system.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 10.)

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      Sec. 16-331n. Free video service for libraries and schools. A certified competitive video service provider shall provide any library serving the public and any school system, college or university, located in a part of the certified competitive video service provider's franchise area where service is available, with one outlet for basic video service at no charge if such library, school system, college or university participates in educational or public access programming offered throughout the company's franchise area. The Department of Public Utility Control may exempt any provider from providing such service at no charge if it would have an adverse impact on the provider. No certified competitive video service provider shall be required to provide this free service if the library or school is receiving community antenna television service or video service from another provider.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 11.)

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      Sec. 16-331o. Imposition of civil penalties by the department. A certified competitive video service provider, and its officers, agents and employees, shall comply with sections 16-331e to 16-331o, inclusive, and each applicable order made by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to sections 16-331e to 16-331o, inclusive. Any certified competitive video service provider which the department finds has failed to comply with sections 16-331e to 16-331o, inclusive, or any applicable order made by the department, may be fined, by order of the department, not more than ten thousand dollars for each offense. Each distinct violation of any such order shall be a separate offense and, in the case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense. The department shall impose any such civil penalty in accordance with the procedure established in section 16-41 and if such penalty is imposed, it shall be the sole remedy for such violation. The department shall also have the authority to revoke the certificate of video franchise authority if the certified competitive video service provider is found, after a department hearing with notice to all interested parties, to be in substantial noncompliance with the requirements of law or department orders.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 12.)

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      Sec. 16-331p. Certificate of cable franchise authority in franchise areas in which certified competitive video service providers are offering video service. (a) Thirty days after a certified competitive video service provider offers video service in a community antenna television company's existing franchise area pursuant to a certificate of video franchise authority, or thirty days after a municipal electric utility, its affiliate or subsidiary begins offering video service in a community antenna television company's existing franchise area pursuant to a certificate of video franchise authority, the community antenna television company may seek a certificate of cable franchise authority from the Department of Public Utility Control.

      (b) A certificate of cable franchise authority issued by the department pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall become effective immediately upon issuance by the department.

      (c) A community antenna television company seeking a certificate of cable franchise authority shall file an application with the department. Such application shall include the information required in this section and shall be accompanied by a fee of one thousand dollars.

      (d) Said application shall include a completed affidavit submitted by the applicant and signed by an officer or general partner of the applicant, affirming: (1) The location of the applicant's principal place of business and the names of the applicant's principal executive officers; (2) that the applicant has filed or will timely file with the Federal Communications Commission all forms required by said commission in advance of offering community antenna television service or video service in such franchise area; (3) that the applicant agrees to comply with all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations and with all department orders applicable to community antenna television companies, except as exempted by sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive; and (4) that the applicant agrees to comply with the requirements of sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive. The affidavit shall also include a description of the community antenna television company's current franchise area and a general description of the type or types of technologies the community antenna television company is using and intends to use in providing community antenna television programming or video service in the franchise area, which may include wireline, satellite or any other alternative technology.

      (e) The department shall notify the applicant whether the applicant's application is complete or incomplete on or before the fifteenth calendar day after the applicant submits the application. The department's review of the completeness of the application is limited to whether the application complies with the requirements set forth in subsection (d) of this section. In reviewing the application, the department shall not conduct a hearing or a contested case proceeding pursuant to chapter 54. The department may submit written questions to the applicant and require written answers regarding the information provided and may accept written comments and reply comments from the applicant, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the Attorney General and other interested persons.

      (f) The department shall issue a certificate of cable franchise authority not later than thirty calendar days from finding the application complies with the requirements of subsection (d) of this section. The certificate issued by the department shall provide: (1) A grant of authority to provide community antenna television service or video service as requested in the application; (2) a grant of authority to own, lease, maintain, operate, manage or control facilities in, under or over any public highway in the delivery of such service, subject to the laws of the state; and (3) a statement that the grant of authority is subject to lawful operation of the community antenna television service or video service by the applicant or its interest.

      (g) If the department finds that the applicant's application is incomplete, it shall specify with particularity the items in the application that are incomplete and permit the applicant to amend the application to cure any deficiency. The department shall issue a certificate of cable franchise authority not later than thirty calendar days from its receipt of the amended and completed application.

      (h) The failure of the department to notify the applicant of the completeness or incompleteness of the application within the timeframes set forth above shall be deemed to constitute issuance of the certificate of cable franchise authority.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 13.)

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      Sec. 16-331q. Requirements for holders of certificates of cable franchise authority. (a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall not require a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority to comply with any facility build-out requirements or provide community antenna television service or video service to any customer using any specific technology.

      (b) The Department of Public Utility Control shall not impose any provision regulating rates charged by a community antenna television company holding a certificate of cable franchise authority, except as set forth in federal law.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 14.)

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      Sec. 16-331r. Discrimination based on income prohibited. A company holding a cable franchise authority certificate shall not deny access to service to any group of potential residential subscribers based solely upon the income of the residents in the local area in which such group resides. An affected person may seek enforcement of this requirement by filing a complaint with the Department of Public Utility Control. A municipality within which the potential residential community antenna television service or video service subscriber resides may be considered an affected person for purposes of this section.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 15.)

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      Sec. 16-331s. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority: Community access programming and operations. A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall be subject to the community access programming and operations provisions set forth in subsections (b) to (i), inclusive, and subsections (k), (l) and (n) of section 16-331a and any regulations pursuant thereto, and subsection (c) of section 16-333 and any regulations pursuant thereto.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 16; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 185.)

      History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 deleted former Subsec. (b) requiring company issued a cable franchise authority certificate to provide transmission of the Connecticut Television Network and made a conforming change, effective October 5, 2009.

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      Sec. 16-331t. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority: Advisory council. (a) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall, twice a year, convene a meeting with the advisory council established pursuant to its previous certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to section 16-331. Members shall be appointed in accordance with section 16-331d. No member of the advisory council shall be an employee of a company providing community antenna television service or video service. For the purposes of this subsection, an employee includes any person working full or part time or performing any subcontracting or consulting services for a company providing community antenna television service or video service.

      (b) A company issued a cable franchise authority certificate shall provide funding to the advisory council in the amount of two thousand dollars per year.

      (c) Members of the advisory council shall serve without compensation. For the purposes of this section, compensation shall include the receipt of any free or discounted community antenna television service or video service.

      (d) The Department of Public Utility Control shall designate the advisory council as an intervenor in any contested case proceeding before the department involving the company it advises. Such company shall provide to the chairperson of the advisory council a copy of any report, notice or other document it files with the department in any applicable proceeding.

      (e) Any company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall, every six months, provide on bills, bill inserts or letters to subscribers, a notice indicating the name and address of the chairperson of the advisory council and describing the responsibilities of such advisory council. The advisory council shall have an opportunity to review such notice prior to its distribution.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 17.)

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      Sec. 16-331u. Cable franchise authority companies' offerings, charges, privacy policy, billing and billing disputes. (a) At the time of initial subscription, and annually thereafter, a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall provide subscribers with a description of the community antenna television service or video service offerings and current rates, a description of the company's credit policies, including any finance charges or late payment charges and a description of the company's billing practices and complaint procedures upon request.

      (b) In accordance with 47 USC 551, at the time of entering into an agreement to provide community antenna television or video service to a subscriber, a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall inform the subscriber of its practices regarding the collection and use of personally identifiable customer information, including (1) the type of information collected, (2) the purposes for which it is used, (3) the extent and manner in which it is shared with unaffiliated third parties for purposes of enabling delivery of the community antenna television or video service, and (4) its procedures to ensure the subscriber's right to privacy. A holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority shall not disclose personally identifiable customer information other than anonymous or aggregate data to unaffiliated third parties for their own marketing purposes without the consent of such subscriber.

      (c) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall implement an informal process for handling Department of Public Utility Control and customer inquiries, billing issues, service issues and other complaints. In the event an issue is not resolved through this informal process, a customer may request from the department a confidential, nonbinding mediation with the company, and a designated member of the department staff shall serve as the mediator. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the customer may file a formal complaint with the department. The department's sole jurisdiction over the complaint is to determine if the company is in compliance with sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive, or any other laws, regulations or orders applicable to companies holding a certificate of cable franchise authority. If the company is found to be in noncompliance, the department shall order the company to remedy such noncompliance within a reasonable period of time. Failure to comply may subject the company to civil penalties and revocation of the certificate, as provided in section 16-331aa.

      (d) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall comply with the customer service requirements of 47 CFR 76.309(c) for its community antenna television or video services. A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall not be subject to any other state law or regulation or department order to the extent it imposes customer service requirements in excess of or more stringent than 47 CFR 76.309(c).

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 18.)

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      Sec. 16-331v. Cable franchise authority companies' programming and rate changes. (a) Except when otherwise required by federal law, a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall inform the Department of Public Utility Control of any planned programming or rate changes not less than thirty days before implementing such changes unless (1) such changes are required by law to be made in less than thirty days, or (2) in appropriate circumstances where a shorter notice period is in the best interest of the company's subscribers.

      (b) Except when otherwise required by federal law, a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall inform each of its subscribers, the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to technology and the chairperson of the applicable advisory council of any planned elimination or reduction in programming or planned rate increases not less than thirty days before implementing such changes unless (1) such changes are required by law to be made in less than thirty days, or (2) the department prescribes a longer or shorter notice period in appropriate circumstances where such longer or shorter notice period is in the best interest of the company's subscribers. The advisory council may hold an advisory public hearing concerning the planned changes and may then make a recommendation to the company before the planned implementation date.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 19.)

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      Sec. 16-331w. Interrupted cable franchise authority service. If community antenna television service or video service provided to a subscriber by a company holding a certificate of cable franchise authority experiences a service outage for more than twenty-four continuous hours, such subscriber shall receive a credit or refund from such company in an amount that represents the proportionate share of such service not received in a billing period, provided such interruption is not caused by the subscriber.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 20.)

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      Sec. 16-331x. Cable franchise authority companies' closed captioning and emergency broadcast systems. (a) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall make closed captioning available when simultaneously broadcast with video signals carried by the company.

      (b) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall offer the concurrent rebroadcast of local television broadcast channels, or utilize another economically and technically feasible process for providing an appropriate message through the company's community antenna television service or video service in the event of a public safety emergency issued over the emergency broadcast system.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 21.)

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      Sec. 16-331y. Free service for libraries and schools provided by holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority. A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall provide any library serving the public and any school system, college or university, located in a part of the company's franchise area where service is available, with one outlet for basic community antenna television service or video service at no charge if such library, school system, college or university participates in educational or public access programming offered throughout the company's franchise area. The Department of Public Utility Control may exempt any company with a certificate of cable franchise authority from providing such service at no charge if it would have an adverse impact on such company. No company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall be required to provide this free service if the library or school is receiving community antenna television service or video service from another provider.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 22.)

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      Sec. 16-331z. Holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority subject to federal and state laws and regulations. Exceptions. (a) Nothing in sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive, shall be construed to relieve a company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority from such company's obligations under any federal or state laws or regulations or Department of Public Utility Control orders applicable to community antenna television companies or public service companies, or from any other federal or state laws or regulations or department orders unless specified in sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive.

      (b) A company issued a certificate of cable franchise authority shall not be subject to subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (5) and (6) of subsection (d) of section 16-331, subsections (f) and (h) of section 16-331, and subsections (e) and (f) of section 16-333 or to any regulations or department orders implemented or arising from said sections.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 23.)

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      Sec. 16-331aa. Imposition of civil penalties by the department. A holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority, and the officers, agents and employees of such cable franchise authority, shall obey, observe and comply with sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive, and each applicable order made by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive. A holder of a cable franchise authority certificate that the department finds has failed to obey or comply with sections 16-331q to 16-331aa, inclusive, or any applicable order made by the department pursuant thereto may be fined, by order of the department, not more than ten thousand dollars for each offense. Each distinct violation of any such order shall be a separate offense and, in the case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense. The department shall impose any such civil penalty in accordance with the procedure established in section 16-41. If such penalty is imposed, it shall be the sole remedy for such violation. The department shall also have the authority to revoke the certificate of cable franchise authority if the holder of the certificate is found, after a department hearing with notice to all interested parties, to be in substantial noncompliance with the requirements of law or department orders.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 24.)

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      Sec. 16-331bb. Municipal video competition trust account. (a) There is established an account to be known as the "municipal video competition trust account", which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by this section to be deposited in the account. In the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2008, and in each fiscal year thereafter, the amount in said account at the end of the preceding fiscal year shall be distributed as property tax relief to the towns, cities and boroughs of this state pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

      (b) The Comptroller shall deposit into the municipal video competition trust account, established pursuant to this section, a sum not to exceed five million dollars per fiscal year from the gross earnings tax imposed on certified competitive video service providers pursuant to section 12-256.

      (c) (1) The amount to be distributed to each town from said account shall be a proportional part of the total amount of such distribution determined with respect to each town by the following ratio: The total number of subscribers to certified competitive video service located in such town at the end of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year during which the distribution to municipalities under this section occurs shall be the numerator of the fraction, and the total number of subscribers to certified competitive video service located in all towns in this state at the end of such fiscal year shall be added together, and the sum shall be the denominator of the fraction.

      (2) Any city or borough not consolidated with the town in which it is located and any town containing such a city or borough shall receive a portion of the amount allocated to such town under subdivision (1) of this subsection on the basis of the following ratio: The total property taxes levied by such town, city or borough in the most recent fiscal year for which a certified copy of an audit report is received by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, in accordance with section 7-393, shall be the numerator of the fraction, and the total property taxes levied in such fiscal year by the town and all cities or boroughs located within such town shall be added together, and the sum shall be the denominator of the fraction. On and after July 1, 2009, the town in which a city or borough is located shall be entitled to retain the amount otherwise allocable to a city or borough under the provisions of this subsection if the application of such ratio results in an allocation of less than five dollars to such city or borough. Any such city or borough may, by vote of its legislative body, direct the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to reallocate all or a portion of the share of such city or borough to the town in which it is located.

      (d) Not later than September 15, 2008, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall certify to the Comptroller the amount to be paid to each municipality from said account in accordance with this section and the Comptroller shall draw the Comptroller's order on the Treasurer not later than the twenty-fifth day of September in the same year. The Treasurer shall pay the respective amount to each municipality in accordance with this section on or before the thirtieth day of September in the same year.

      (e) Not later than July 30, 2008, and annually thereafter, each certified competitive video service provider shall file with the Office of Policy and Management the total number of subscribers to certified competitive video service in each town and the total subscribers to certified competitive video service in all towns in this state as of the last day of the immediately preceding fiscal year.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 25; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 52.)

      History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 amended Subsec. (a) to specify that in fiscal years starting July 1, 2008, the amount in account at the end of the preceding fiscal year shall be distributed as property tax relief, amended Subsec. (c)(1) to specify that numerator of fraction shall be number of subscribers at the end of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year during which distribution to municipalities occurs, amended Subsec. (c)(2) to specify that numerator of fraction shall be total property taxes levied in the most recent fiscal year for which a certified copy of audit report is received and add provision re towns retaining amount otherwise allocable to a city or borough, and made a technical change in Subsec. (d), effective October 5, 2009.

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      Sec. 16-331cc. Public, educational and governmental programming and education technology investment account. Tax. Penalty and interest. One-time transfer. (a) There is established an account to be known as the "public, educational and governmental programming and education technology investment account", which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account and any interest or penalties collected by the Commissioner of Revenue Services pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.

      (b) The moneys in said account shall be expended by the Department of Public Utility Control as follows: (1) Fifty per cent of said moneys shall be available to local community antenna television and video advisory councils; state-wide community antenna television and video advisory councils; public, educational and governmental programmers and public, educational and governmental studio operators to subsidize capital and equipment costs related to producing and procuring such programming, and (2) fifty per cent of said moneys shall be available to boards of education and other education entities for education technology initiatives.

      (c) (1) The account shall be supported solely through a tax equal to one-half of one per cent of the gross earnings from rendering community antenna television service, video programming service by satellite and certified competitive video service in this state for quarterly periods beginning on or after October 1, 2007, and before October 1, 2009, and a tax equal to one-quarter of one per cent of the gross earnings from rendering community antenna television service, video programming service by satellite and certified competitive video service in this state for quarterly periods beginning on or after October 1, 2009, by each person operating a community antenna television system under this chapter or a certified competitive video service pursuant to sections 16-331e to 16-331p, inclusive, and each person operating a business that provides one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming by satellite. Such tax for a quarterly period shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue Services, on or before the last day of the month next succeeding the quarterly period, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services, which form shall be signed by the person performing the duties of treasurer or an authorized agent or officer. For the purposes of this section, gross earnings in this state shall be determined in a manner consistent with chapter 211.

      (2) The amount of any tax due and unpaid under this section shall be subject to the penalties and interest established in section 12-268d and the amount of any tax, penalty or interest due and unpaid under this section may be collected under the provisions of section 12-35.

      (d) On or before October 1, 2007, the Department of Public Utility Control shall initiate a contested case proceeding to establish eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for allocations from the account. On or before April 1, 2008, the department shall issue a final decision in the contested case proceeding. Such decision shall include any recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly that the department deems necessary with regard to the ongoing operation of the account.

      (e) For purposes of this section, a holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority pursuant to section 16-331p shall be treated as a person operating a community antenna television system pursuant to this chapter and community antenna television service shall include service provided by a holder of a certificate of cable franchise authority pursuant to section 16-331p.

      (f) The Comptroller shall deposit into the public, educational and governmental programming and education technology investment account, established pursuant to this section, the total of the tax imposed on community antenna television service, video programming service by satellite and certified competitive video service pursuant to this section.

      (g) When the balance of said account reaches more than one hundred fifty thousand dollars, the department shall make a one-time transfer of one hundred fifty thousand dollars to the Office of Legislative Management for expenses related to the allowance of interconnection of the Connecticut Television Network with a certified competitive video service provider, as defined in section 16-1, for the purpose of making the Connecticut Television Network available to such provider's customers.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 33, 43; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 9; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 183.)

      History: P.A. 07-253, S. 33, codified as Subsecs. (a) to (e), effective July 1, 2007, and S. 43, codified as Subsec. (f), effective October 1, 2007; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 amended Subsec. (a) to reference any interest or penalties collected pursuant to Subsec. (c)(2), inserted Subdiv. designators in Subsec. (c), amended Subsec. (c)(1) to reference "quarterly periods" and delete references to the fiscal year, require tax to be remitted on or before the last day of month next succeeding the quarterly period, on a form signed by the person performing duties of treasurer or an authorized agent or officer, and substitute "gross earnings" for "gross receipts", and inserted Subsec. (c)(2) re interest and penalties on tax due and unpaid, effective October 6, 2007; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 added Subsec. (g) re one-time transfer, effective October 5, 2009.

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      Sec. 16-331dd. Municipal electric utilities' eligibility to be a certified competitive video service provider. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, any regulation or any decision of the Department of Public Utility Control, any municipal electric utility, including its affiliate or subsidiary, which on July 1, 2007, is the holder of a second franchise to provide community antenna television service in a defined franchise area in the state shall be eligible to be a certified competitive video service provider for all purposes, regardless of the technology or technologies used to provide video programming, and may file an application to the department for a certificate of video franchise authority pursuant to section 16-331e. Such certificate, if granted, shall (1) replace the certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide community antenna television service previously issued to such municipal electric utility, its affiliate or subsidiary, which shall thereafter be subject to the provisions of sections 16-331e to 16-331o, inclusive, (2) not limit the services in addition to video programming that said certified video service provider may offer subscribers within its service area footprint, and (3) be expressly limited to the service area footprint in which the franchise holder is authorized to provide community antenna television service as of July 1, 2007. The requirements of sections 16-331 to 16-333p, inclusive, and of any regulations adopted pursuant to said sections shall not apply unless specifically made applicable to certified competitive video service providers.

      (b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, any regulation or any decision of the Department of Public Utility Control, any municipal electric utility, including its affiliate or subsidiary, may apply to the department to become a certified competitive video service provider for all purposes, outside of its existing community antenna television company franchise area as of July 1, 2007, if applicable, pursuant to section 16-331e, regardless of the technology or technologies used to provide video programming. Such certificate, if granted, shall not limit the services in addition to video programming that said certified competitive video service provider may offer subscribers within its service area footprint. The requirements of sections 16-331 to 16-333p, inclusive, and of any regulations adopted pursuant to said sections shall not apply unless specifically made applicable to certified competitive video service providers.

      (P.A. 07-253. S. 34.)

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      Sec. 16-331ee. State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council. Membership. There is established a State-wide Community Antenna Television Advisory Council to assist local community antenna television advisory councils in the performance of their functions and disseminate information to local advisory councils that is relevant to the interests of customers of community antenna television companies. The state-wide advisory council shall consist of the following members: (1) Three appointed by the Governor; (2) two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (3) two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (4) one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (5) one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; (6) two appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (7) two appointed by the minority leader of the Senate. The term of each member of the state-wide advisory council shall be coterminous with the term of the appointing authority for said member. Not later than January 1, 2008, and annually thereafter, the members shall elect a chairperson of said council from among the members of the council.

      (P.A. 07-253, S. 35.)

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      Sec. 16-331ff. Certain third-party nonprofit community access provider requirements re education and government access channels and town-specific community access programming. (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 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.

      (P.A. 08-159, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 08-159 effective June 12, 2008 (Revisor's note: In 2009, a reference to "Department of Public Utility and Control" in Subsec. (b) was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Public Utility Control" for accuracy).

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      Sec. 16-331gg. Funds for development of town-specific education and government community access programming. Distribution of funds. Report to Department of Public Utility Control re disbursement of funds. (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 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.

      (P.A. 08-159, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 08-159 effective June 12, 2008.

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      Sec. 16-332. Leases by public service companies of facilities for community antenna purposes. Any public service company may lease facilities to persons or corporations operating community antenna television systems for the purpose of making television and audio signals available for reception by the customers of such persons or corporations. Rates for such leasing shall be filed with the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to section 16-19.

      (1963, P.A. 425, S. 4; P.A. 75-486, S. 1, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 161, 348.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation.

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      Sec. 16-333. Regulations: Safety of operations, facility construction, system installation, community access channel, personal privacy protections, carriage of television broadcast signals, subscriber inquiries and complaints. (a) The Department of Public Utility Control may issue orders and regulations governing safety of operations of community antenna television systems.

      (b) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to: (1) Establish minimum construction and extension requirements for underground community antenna television facilities in areas where underground facilities of other public utilities already exist; (2) establish technical standards of performance for the installation of community antenna television systems, including standards for the drilling of holes and the location of such holes in buildings to be served.

      (c) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 requiring each community antenna television company to maintain at least one specially designated, noncommercial community access channel available to the public and establishing minimum standards for the equipment supplied by such company for the community access programming and requirements concerning the availability and operation of such channel.

      (d) The department shall, not later than March 1, 1984, adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 (1) establishing personal privacy protections for community antenna television subscribers, including, but not limited to, standards for the types of individually identifiable data that a community antenna television company may collect on its subscribers, (2) requiring each such company to notify each of its subscribers of such privacy protections and (3) prohibiting each company from disclosing such data without the prior approval of the subscriber. The department shall incorporate the provisions of such regulations in each new or existing certificate of public convenience and necessity issued under section 16-331.

      (e) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 incorporating the provisions of Subpart D of 47 CFR 76 in effect on January 1, 1983, and applying to community antenna television companies.

      (f) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations (1) establishing procedures to be followed by community antenna television companies in responding to subscriber inquiries and complaints and (2) establishing standards, based on the number of subscriber complaints to the Department of Public Utility Control concerning service provided by a community antenna television company, under which the department shall impose civil penalties on the company or initiate proceedings for the revocation of the company's franchise, provided nothing herein shall limit the authority of the department under sections 16-10a and 16-41.

      (g) The standards and procedures adopted pursuant to this section, subsection (d) of section 16-331, section 16-333f, subsection (a) of section 16-333i and sections 16-333k to 16-333m, inclusive, shall be minimum standards of performance for community antenna television companies and the Department of Public Utility Control may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 establishing higher standards of performance.

      (1963, P.A. 425, S. 5; P.A. 75-486, S. 1, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 79-533, S. 3; P.A. 80-82; 80-482, S. 4, 40, 162, 345, 348; P.A. 83-33, S. 1, 2; 83-80, S. 1, 2; P.A. 84-240, S. 2, 4; 84-546, S. 50, 173; P.A. 88-202, S. 2; P.A. 94-22, S. 2; P.A. 98-121, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 replaced authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-533 added Subsec. (b) re regulation of community antenna television systems; P.A. 80-82 added Subsec. (c) re maintenance of public access channels; P.A. 80-482 made division of public utility control an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 83-33 added Subsec. (d), requiring department to adopt regulations re personal privacy protections; P.A. 83-80 was added editorially by the Revisors as Subsec. (e) re incorporation of federal regulations re carriage of television broadcast signals; P.A. 84-240 added Subsec. (f) re inquiries and complaints by subscribers and notices to subscribers; P.A. 84-546 confirmed action of the Revisors in adding P.A. 83-80, S. 1 as Subsec. (e); P.A. 88-202 deleted the provisions of Subsec. (f) detailing matters to be addressed in regulations re subscriber inquiries and complaints and specifying information to be included with bills, i.e. company's telephone number, DPUC's consumer assistance number and procedures when service is interrupted and added Subsec. (g) which allows the department of public utility control to set higher standards of performance; P.A. 94-22 changed "public access" to "community access" for consistency of reference in Subsec. (c); P.A. 98-121 made technical changes to Subsec. (g).

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      Sec. 16-333a. Multiunit residential buildings service and wiring. Right to use antenna. Regulations for owner compensation. Civil penalty. (a) No owner of any multiunit residential building shall demand or accept payment, in any form, except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, in exchange for permitting community antenna television service on or within his property or premises, or discriminate in rental charges or the provision of service between tenants who receive such service and those who do not, provided such owner shall not be required to bear any cost for the installation or provision of such service.

      (b) An owner of a multiunit residential building shall permit wiring to provide community antenna television service in such building provided that: (1) A tenant of such building requests community antenna television services; (2) the entire cost of such wiring is assumed by the community antenna television company; (3) the community antenna television company indemnifies and holds harmless the owner for any damages caused by such wiring; and (4) the community antenna television company complies with all rules and regulations of the Department of Public Utility Control pertaining to such wiring.

      (c) An owner of a multiunit residential building in the process of construction shall prior to completion of construction of such building permit prewiring to provide community antenna television services in such building provided that: (1) The community antenna television company complies with all the provisions of subdivisions (2), (3) and (4) of subsection (b) of this section and subsection (e) of this section; and (2) all wiring other than that to be directly connected to the terminal of a community antenna television subscriber shall be concealed within the walls of such building. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, which shall set forth terms which may be included, and terms which shall not be included, in any contract to be entered into by the owner of a multiunit residential building and a community antenna television company concerning such wiring. No community antenna television company shall present to an owner of an occupied building for review or for signature such a contract which contains a term prohibited from inclusion in such a contract by regulations adopted hereunder.

      (d) No community antenna television company may enter into any agreement with the owners, lessees or persons controlling or managing multiunit residential buildings serviced by such company, or commit or permit any act, that would have the effect, directly or indirectly, of diminishing or interfering with existing rights of any tenant or other occupant of such dwelling to use or avail himself of master or individual antenna equipment.

      (e) The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, authorizing community antenna television companies, upon application by the owner of a multiunit residential building and approval by the department, to reasonably compensate the owner for any taking of property associated with the installation of wiring and ancillary facilities for the provision of community antenna television service. The regulations may include, without limitation:

      (1) Establishment of a procedure under which owners may petition the department for additional compensation;

      (2) Authorization for owners and community antenna television companies to negotiate settlement agreements regarding the amount of such compensation, which agreements shall be subject to the department's approval;

      (3) Establishment of criteria for determining any additional compensation that may be due;

      (4) Establishment of a schedule or schedules of such compensation under specified circumstances; and

      (5) Establishment of application fees, or a schedule of fees, for applications under this subsection.

      (f) Nothing in subsection (e) of this section shall preclude a community antenna television company from installing community antenna television equipment or facilities in a multiunit residential building prior to the department's determination of reasonable compensation.

      (g) Any determination by the department under subsection (e) of this section regarding the amount of compensation to which an owner is entitled or approval of a settlement agreement may be appealed by an aggrieved party in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.

      (h) The provisions of this section shall also apply to trailer parks, mobile manufactured home parks, nursing homes, hospitals and condominium associations.

      (i) Any person, firm or corporation which the Department of Public Utility Control determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing as provided in section 16-41, to have failed to comply with any provision of subsections (a) to (d), inclusive, or subsection (h) of this section shall pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day following the issuance of a final order by the department pursuant to section 16-41 that the person, firm or corporation fails to comply with said subsections.

      (P.A. 75-301, S. 1, 3; P.A. 76-201; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 163, 348; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-3, S. 1; P.A. 89-281, S. 1; P.A. 93-53, S. 1, 3; P.A. 94-106, S. 2; P.A. 07-217, S. 63.)

      History: P.A. 76-201 added proviso in Subsec. (a) re allotment of installation cost, replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority in accordance with provisions of P.A. 75-486 and added Subsec. (e) re applicability of provisions; P.A. 77-614 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-3 changed the term "mobile home" to "mobile manufactured home"; P.A. 89-281 added Subsec. (e) requiring the department to adopt regulations re compensation of owner for taking, added Subsec. (f) allowing cable installation before department determines compensation, added Subsec. (g) authorizing appeal from department decision and relettered Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (h); P.A. 93-53 added a new Subsec. (i) providing a civil penalty for violations of Subsecs. (a) to (d) or Subsec. (h), effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-106 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provisions re regulations governing contracts concerning wiring and regulations for the terms of such contracts; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (f) and (g), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 16-333b. Service to franchise area. Underground service lines. (a) No community antenna television company shall refuse to construct that plant necessary to serve any portion of its franchise area on the sole basis that such portion can only be served by underground facilities.

      (b) No community antenna television company shall extend its service to any new franchise area unless such company has provided full service to the primary franchise area of the original franchise area specified in its certificate of public convenience and necessity. For purposes of this subsection, "primary franchise area" means any contiguous areas within the franchised territory, the outer limits of which shall be as near as possible to eighty residential dwelling units per mile of street or highway, and which has been so designated by the franchise holder.

      (c) The Department of Public Utility Control shall permit a community antenna television company to extend service to any portion of its franchise area with a low population density and to charge prospective subscribers in that portion of its area differential rates to recover the construction and operating costs over a period not to exceed five years. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as affecting any application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity filed in accordance with section 16-331 and pending before the department on April 6, 1981.

      (d) A community antenna television company shall install underground service lines at the same time as, and in the same place that, electric and telephone utilities install underground facilities within the franchise territory. The department shall establish regulations in accordance with chapter 54 which may allow for the waiver of this requirement in low density areas and for a company to charge the owner of the property in which the service lines are installed for the cost of the installation.

      (P.A. 75-301, S. 2, 3; P.A. 79-533, S. 1; P.A. 81-37, S. 1, 2; 81-393, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 79-533 added Subsec. (b) re extension of service to new franchise area; P.A. 81-37 added Subsec. (c) requiring department to permit companies to charge prospective subscribers in low density areas differential rates; P.A. 81-393 added Subsec. (d) requiring installation of underground service lines simultaneously with electric and telephone facilities and requiring department regulations re waiver of requirement in low density areas and company's power to charge property owner for such installation.

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      Sec. 16-333c. Availability of equipment for deaf or hearing impaired subscribers. Each community antenna television company shall make available at cost, by a rental, sales or installment sales agreement, to each subscriber who is deaf or hearing impaired, equipment which receives and decodes closed captions which are simultaneously broadcast with video signals carried by the company.

      (P.A. 77-57; P.A. 80-121, S. 1, 2; P.A. 85-168; P.A. 98-121, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 80-121 clarified provisions forbidding sale, lease or repair of receiving equipment by adding "as part of, or in connection with, its operation of such system"; P.A. 85-168 added Subsec. (b) re the availability of decoder equipment for deaf or hearing impaired subscribers; P.A. 98-121 deleted former Subsec. (a) concerning the sale, lease or repair of receiving equipment and removed Subsec. (b) designator.

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      Sec. 16-333d. Discrimination among subscribers prohibited. The department may prohibit any community antenna television company from unreasonably discriminating among subscribers of community antenna television service.

      (P.A. 79-54; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 40, 345, 348; P.A. 84-113, S. 3, 4; P.A. 85-509, S. 7, 11; P.A. 88-202, S. 4; P.A. 98-121, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 80-482 made division of public utility control an independent department and abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 84-113 authorized department to extend deadline for issuing a final decision on a rate filing by 30 days, to 180 days; P.A. 85-509 lettered existing section as Subsec. (a) and made its provisions applicable only to a community antenna television company subject to rate regulation, added Subsec. (b) re basic service rate increase for each company not subject to rate regulation and added Subsec. (c) re prohibition on unreasonable discrimination; P.A. 88-202 amended Subsec. (b) requiring notice to be provided for any increase in premium service as well as basic service and increased the notification period in Subsec. (b) from 30 to 45 days; P.A. 98-121 deleted former Subsec. (a) concerning interim rate increases, deleted former Subsec. (b) concerning notice of such increases and removed Subsec. (c) designator.

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      Sec. 16-333e. Credit or refund for interrupted service. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "Basic service" means all signals of domestic television broadcast stations provided to any subscriber, except a signal secondarily transmitted by satellite carrier beyond the local service area of such station, regardless of how such signal is ultimately received by the cable system, any public, educational, and governmental programming and any additional video programming signals or service added to the basic tier by the cable operator;

      (2) "Cable programming service" means any video programming provided over a cable system, regardless of service tier, including installation or rental of equipment used for the receipt of such video programming, other than (A) video programming carried on the basic service tier as defined in this section, (B) video programming offered on a pay-per-channel or pay-per-program basis, or (C) a combination of multiple channels of pay-per-channel or pay-per-program video programming offered on a multiplexed or time-shifted basis as long as the combined service (i) consists of commonly-identified video programming, and (ii) is not bundled with any regulated tier of service;

      (3) "Premium service" means pay-per-channel or pay-per-program services for which a subscriber pays a fee in addition to the fees for basic service and cable programming service; and

      (4) "Video programming" means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station.

      (b) If premium, cable programming or basic service to a subscriber is interrupted for more than twenty-four continuous hours, such subscriber shall receive a credit or refund from the community antenna television company in an amount that represents the proportionate share of such service not received in a billing period, provided such interruption is not caused by the subscriber.

      (c) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, establishing a viewing time reliability standard for community antenna television companies and requiring such companies to file with the department information on premium, cable programming and basic service interruptions not caused by subscribers. The department shall approve a service interruption adjustment clause to be superimposed on the existing rate schedules of such companies. Such a clause shall provide for a credit or refund from a company to its subscribers if the level of service during a month falls below the company's reliability standard due to interruptions of twenty-four hours or less.

      (P.A. 79-548; P.A. 80-85; 80-482, S. 4, 40, 345, 348; P.A. 84-240, S. 3, 4; P.A. 91-244, S. 4; P.A. 95-150, S. 3; P.A. 98-121, S. 8; P.A. 06-196, S. 202.)

      History: P.A. 80-85 inserted new Subsec. (c) re annual report and relettered former Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d); P.A. 80-482 made division of public utility control an independent department; P.A. 84-240 limited applicability of Subsec. (a)(1) to interrupted service instead of interrupted or terminated service and added Subdiv. (2) re interruptions of 24 hours or less; P.A. 91-244 deleted Subsec. (b) re monthly listing provided to subscribers and relettered the remaining Subsecs; P.A. 95-150 inserted new provisions defining applicable terms as Subsec. (a), designated prior provisions as Subsecs. (b) to (d), inclusive, and added reference to cable programming and deleted former Subsec. (c) defining "premium service"; P.A. 98-121 amended Subsec. (a)(1) by deleting "required by the franchise to be carried on the basic tier", amended Subsec. (c) by deleting "January 1, 1985" and deleted former Subsec. (d) re annual report; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (a)(2), effective June 7, 2006.

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      Sec. 16-333f. Programming and rate changes. Regulatory authority. Industry cooperation. (a) Each community antenna television company shall inform the Department of Public Utility Control, each subscriber, the chairpersons of the joint standing committee having cognizance of matters relating to public utilities and the chairperson of the company's advisory council of any planned programming or rate changes not less than thirty days unless otherwise required by federal law prior to implementing such changes unless (1) such changes are required by law to be made in less than thirty days or (2) the department prescribes a longer or shorter notice period in appropriate circumstances where such longer or shorter notice period is in the best interest of the company's subscribers. The company's advisory council may hold an advisory public hearing concerning the planned changes and may then make a recommendation to the company prior to the planned implementation date. The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this subsection.

      (b) The Department of Public Utility Control shall file a written certification with the Federal Communications Commission for designation as the franchising authority exercising the regulatory authority permitted under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, P.L. 102-385.

      (c) The Department of Public Utility Control shall encourage cooperation between community antenna television companies and local television broadcast stations in order to further the public interest concerning the provision of video programming and community antenna television services, thus ensuring the widest possible range of programming choices for all residents of the state at the lowest possible cost to all residents of the state.

      (P.A. 81-393, S. 3; P.A. 88-202, S. 5; P.A. 91-244, S. 3; P.A. 93-28, S. 1, 2; P.A. 98-121, S. 9; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 88-202 amended the section by requiring each company to notify each subscriber and the chairpersons of the energy committee of any programming change and that each notice be made not less than 45 days prior to the change unless a short time prescribed by law or the department prescribes a different time; P.A. 91-244 added provision requiring information about rate changes to be provided to the department, subscribers, the advisory council and the energy and public utilities committee; P.A. 93-28 designated former provisions as Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (a) by increasing the notice requirement from 45 to 60 days, added provision authorizing advisory councils to hold public hearings and requiring regulations concerning the Subsec. rather than the Sec., added a new Subsec. (b) requiring the department to file with the FCC as the regulatory authority, and added a new Subsec. (c) requiring the department to encourage cooperation between community antenna television companies and local television broadcast stations, effective May 4, 1993; P.A. 98-121 amended Subsec. (a) by changing notice from 60 days to 30 days; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change to Subsec. (a).

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      Sec. 16-333g. Free basic service for libraries and schools. Each community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, shall provide any library serving the public and any school system, college or university, located in a part of the company's franchise area where service is available, with basic community antenna television service at no charge if such library, school system, college or university participates in educational or public access programming offered throughout the company's franchise area. The Department of Public Utility Control may exempt any company from providing such service at no charge if it would have an adverse impact on the company.

      (P.A. 82-221, S. 1, 3; P.A. 95-217, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 95-217 deleted Subsec. (b) re rate treatment for costs of service provided under former Subsec. (a).

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      Sec. 16-333h. Extension of service to schools. Instructional channels. (a) Each community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, shall, not later than the date it extends energized trunk and feeder to all areas within its franchise territory in which there are at least twenty-five prospective subscribers per aerial plant mile of extension and fifty prospective subscribers per underground plant mile of extension, extend such trunk and feeder to public and private elementary and secondary schools in such franchise areas and offer one instructional television channel as part of its basic service. Each such company may utilize such instructional television channel for noninstructional television programming during any time when the channel is not needed for instructional programming. No such company shall be required to offer the instructional television channel on or after July 1, 1995, unless the Commission for Educational Technology certifies to the Department of Public Utility Control that educational agencies in the company's franchise area have utilized the instructional television channel to provide, during the school year, an average of not less than twenty hours per week of credit and noncredit instructional programming, programming supporting school curricula and programming for professional development.

      (b) The joint committee on educational technology shall be responsible for the utilization of instructional television channels provided in whole or in part by community antenna television companies.

      (P.A. 83-584, S. 1, 3; P.A. 85-509, S. 8, 11; P.A. 88-52, S. 1, 2; P.A. 90-79, S. 2; P.A. 91-303, S. 10, 22; P.A. 92-146, S. 2, 5; P.A. 98-121, S. 10; P.A. 00-187, S. 53, 75.)

      History: P.A. 83-584, S. 1, effective July 1, 1984; 85-509 amended Subsec. (a) to allow instructional channel to be utilized for noninstructional programming when not needed for instructional programming, deleting provisions re channel sharing by instructional and public access or other partially used channels, and terminated channel requirement as of July 1, 1988, except upon certification of utilization by joint committee on educational technology; P.A. 88-52 in Subsec. (a) extended the deadline from July 1, 1988, to July 1, 1989, for the requirement that instructional television channels be offered; P.A. 90-79 extended deadline from July 1, 1989, to July 1, 1991, for the requirement that instructional television channels be offered; P.A. 91-303 in Subsec. (a) changed the date for cessation of instructional television from 1991 to 1992; P.A. 92-146 in Subsec. (a) extended deadline from July 1, 1992, to July 1, 1995, for the requirement that instructional television channels be offered and added a new Subsec. (c) re notification of schools of the availability of educational and instructional television channels; P.A. 98-121 deleted former Subsec. (c) concerning notice to schools; P.A. 00-187 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute the Commission for Educational Technology for a committee that was eliminated under the act, effective July 1, 2000.

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      Sec. 16-333i. Procedures for restoring interrupted service and improving substandard service. (a) Each community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, for the purpose of restoring interrupted service and improving substandard service, have on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, one or more persons qualified to repair community antenna television systems, as defined in section 16-1, and facilities and equipment owned by the company and located on a subscriber's premises, including but not limited to, community antenna television receiving equipment and directly associated equipment.

      (b) Each such company shall restore interrupted service not later than twenty-four hours after being notified by a subscriber that service has been interrupted, unless (1) service cannot be restored until another public service company, as defined in section 16-1, repairs facilities owned by such public service company and leased to, or required for the operation of, the community antenna television company, (2) the interruption was caused by an act of God or (3) the community antenna television company is unable to restore service within twenty-four hours due to extenuating circumstances. In the event of such extenuating circumstances, the company shall restore service as soon as feasible and then submit a written notice to the Department of Public Utility Control indicating that service has been restored and explaining the nature of the extenuating circumstances.

      (c) As used in this section, "interrupted service" means the loss of premium or basic monthly community antenna service or any portion of such service.

      (d) The Department of Public Utility Control, not later than November 1, 1984, shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, defining "substandard service" for the purposes of this section.

      (P.A. 84-240, S. 1, 4; P.A. 85-509, S. 9, 11; P.A. 88-202, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 85-509, in Subsec. (a), substituted definitional reference to Sec. 16-330 with reference to Sec. 16-1; P.A. 88-202 deleted the provision in Subsec. (a) which limited applicability to community antenna television companies with more than ten thousand customers.

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      Sec. 16-333j. Community access support. Investigation. Standards. Monitoring by advisory councils. Section 16-333j is repealed, effective October 1, 1998.

      (P.A. 84-466, S. 1, 2; P.A. 85-292, S. 2; P.A. 98-121, S. 14.)

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      Sec. 16-333k. Office operating requirements. Office hours. Complaint or dispute procedures. Each community antenna television system shall: (1) Operate a business office in the franchise area or in an immediately adjacent franchise area if approved by the department that shall be open during normal business hours, (2) operate sufficient telephone lines, including a toll-free number or any other free calling option, as approved by the department, staffed by a company customer service representative during normal business hours for any community antenna television system, having less than thirty thousand customers, and from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday for any community antenna television system, having more than thirty thousand customers, to receive subscriber inquiries, complaints, repair requests, requests for billing adjustments and other service-related requests, (3) connect each such call to a company customer service representative within two minutes during normal business hours, unless there is an emergency in which case the customer should receive a recorded message describing the problem and offering assistance, (4) provide for an answering service to receive such inquiries, complaints, and requests during such times when the company is not required to staff a toll-free number or any other free calling option, as approved by the department, (5) have sufficient personnel on duty as required by subdivision (2) of this section to receive subscriber inquiries, complaints, repair requests, requests for billing adjustments and other service-related requests and to respond to all such inquiries, complaints and requests not later than the close of the next business day after receipt thereof, except as provided by section 16-333i, (6) keep adequate records of all complaints and their final disposition, which shall be in such form as the department prescribes, and (7) follow the written procedures for resolving subscriber complaints and billing disputes, in accordance with subsection (d) of section 16-333l and such additional requirements as the department shall prescribe, and provide a copy of such procedures to each subscriber at the time of the initial subscription and at least annually thereafter.

      (P.A. 88-202, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 16-333l. Company offerings and charges. Billing and billing dispute procedures. (a) Each community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, shall provide each subscriber with a description of all premium and basic service offerings, a list of premium and basic service rates and all service-related charges, information on equipment operation, including the availability of addressable converters, traps or other devices or services which enable subscribers to voluntarily block transmission of specific programming to their homes or places of business, and a description of the company's customers credit policies, including any finance charges or late payment charges, at the time of the initial subscription and at least annually thereafter.

      (b) Each such company shall provide each subscriber with a description of the company's billing practices at the time of the initial subscription and at least annually thereafter. Such description shall include billing period and frequency, security deposit requirements, late payment charges, returned check charges, credits for service outages, pay-per-view billing procedures, charges and billing procedures for the use of addressable converters, traps or other devices or services which enable subscribers to voluntarily block transmission of specific programming to their homes or places of business and such other items as the Department of Public Utility Control may require. Each company shall file a copy of its billing practices with the department and shall give notice to the department and each subscriber not less than forty-five days prior to implementing any changes in such practices. Every bill to subscribers of a community antenna television service shall contain (1) the date on which any individually chargeable service is rendered, (2) each rate or charge levied, (3) the amount due for the current billing period separate from any prior balance due, (4) the specific date by which payment is due, (5) such other items as the department may require, (6) the company's telephone numbers, including any toll-free numbers, (7) the Department of Public Utility Control's consumer assistance telephone number and (8) the mailing address of the company's advisory council. Each company shall provide each subscriber, quarterly, with a summary of the procedures for resolving subscriber complaints and for providing refund or credit for service interruptions, pursuant to section 16-333e, and a notice indicating that, pursuant to subsection (b) of section 16-333i, the company is required to restore interrupted service not later than twenty-four hours after being notified by a subscriber that service has been interrupted. Each bill insert or letter to subscribers, other than promotional material, shall contain the company's telephone numbers, including any toll-free numbers or any other free calling option, as approved by the department and the Department of Public Utility Control's consumer assistance telephone number. Each advisory council, in conjunction with the company, shall notify subscribers of the time and place of any upcoming advisory council meeting, of any vacancies that may exist on the advisory council and of the name of the council chairperson and address of the advisory council. The notification may be provided via the community antenna television system at a sufficient frequency that subscribers may reasonably be expected to become aware of the meeting or by publishing on a quarterly basis the information in a newspaper having general circulation within each municipality in the franchise area.

      (c) No community antenna television company shall issue a bill which contains a statement that payment is due upon receipt. The payment due date of any subscriber's bill shall be no earlier than twenty-five days after the issue date of such bill. No community antenna television subscriber's account shall be considered delinquent until at least twenty-five days have elapsed from the billing date contained in the subscriber's bill. No community antenna television company may impose a late charge or terminate service on account of nonpayment of a delinquent account less than forty-five days from the original billing date. In order to terminate service, a company shall first give notice of such delinquency and impending termination at least fifteen days prior to the imposition of the proposed late charge or the termination, by first class mail addressed to the subscriber. The fifteen-day period shall commence from the date the notice is mailed, provided no notice may be mailed until at least thirty days have elapsed from the billing date contained in the subscriber's bill. No such company may impose a late charge greater than eight per cent per annum of the balance due or any such rate as determined by the department. Any returned check charge imposed by such company shall be reasonably related to the company's actual cost of processing returned checks.

      (d) Any community antenna television subscriber shall have not less than forty-five days from the billing date contained in the subscriber's bill in which to register a complaint with a community antenna television company with respect to any billing error or dispute. A billing complaint may be registered in person at the company's business office, by telephone or by mail. The company shall promptly investigate the billing complaint, shall provide an initial response to the subscriber not later than three days after receipt thereof and shall provide a written proposal of the disposition of the complaint to the subscriber not later than fifteen business days following the company's receipt of the complaint. The subscriber, after receiving the company's proposed disposition of the complaint, shall have ten days to contest the disposition and may present the company with additional information concerning the complaint. In the event the subscriber contests the proposed disposition, the company shall review any additional information, if provided, and shall notify the subscriber of the company's final disposition within fifteen days. No community antenna television company may effect termination of service to the subscriber for nonpayment of disputed bills during the pendency of any billing complaint, provided the subscriber shall pay current and undisputed bill amounts during the pendency of the complaint. The Department of Public Utility Control, upon the written request of the subscriber, may review the company's disposition of a billing complaint in accordance with such procedures as the department shall prescribe and make such orders as the department deems reasonable and necessary to finally resolve the complaint.

      (e) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to administer the provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 88-202, S. 7, 10; 88-364, S. 95, 123; P.A. 89-182, S. 5; P.A. 94-229, S. 3, 4; P.A. 95-150, S. 4; P.A. 98-121, S. 11.)

      History: P.A. 88-364 substituted reference to billing date for reference to payment due date in Subsec. (d); P.A. 89-182 required that bills contain mailing address of community antenna television services company's advisory council and that specified information re advisory council be published quarterly in a newspaper with general circulation in each municipality within a franchise area; P.A. 94-229 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by adding provisions re devices or services which enable subscribers to voluntarily block transmission, effective June 8, 1994; P.A. 95-150 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting "subsection (a) of" re reference to Sec. 16-333e; P.A. 98-121 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting requirement to publish quarterly certain information by newspaper and by adding requirement to publish certain information as needed via the community antenna television system or by newspaper, and amended Subsec. (c) by deleting references to late charges.

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      Sec. 16-333m. Limitations on charges for disconnection or downgrade of service. No charge may be imposed by any such company in any case where a subscriber requests a total disconnection of service. No charge that exceeds the cost to the company may be imposed by any such company in any case in which the subscriber requests a downgrade of service. The subscriber, after the date of his request for disconnection or downgrade, shall not be required to pay for any service in the case of a total disconnection or any service option requested to be eliminated, unless the subscriber prevents the company from disconnecting service within a reasonable time.

      (P.A. 88-202, S. 8; P.A. 98-121, S. 12.)

      History: P.A. 98-121 deleted former Subsec. (a) concerning notification, removed Subsec. (b) designator and added prohibition on charging amount that exceeds costs for downgrading service.

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      Sec. 16-333n. Penalty for reduction of community antenna television service without notice. If a community antenna television company, as defined in section 16-1, reduces the programming selection of a basic or premium service package, without providing notice to the Department of Public Utility Control, as required in section 16-333f, it shall provide customers with a credit for failing to provide the cable programming package or selection as advertised or represented to the customer. Such credit shall be equal to the pro rata cost to the subscriber of the programming removed from the basic or premium package and the amount of such credit shall be submitted to and approved by the Department of Public Utility Control and shall continue until such time as the company complies with statutory notice requirements.

      (P.A. 89-182, S. 4; P.A. 98-121, S. 13.)

      History: P.A. 98-121 made a technical change.

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      Sec. 16-333o. Rate regulation of community antenna television systems. Upon the enactment of federal legislation authorizing rate regulation of community antenna television companies, the Department of Public Utility Control shall proceed to implement such rate regulation as soon as practicable. The Department of Public Utility Control shall develop a schedule and plan to implement such rate regulation and shall submit them to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public utilities within ninety days of enactment of the federal legislation.

      (P.A. 92-137, S. 6; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 8, 121.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change, effective June 24, 1998.

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      Sec. 16-333p. Broadcast television station markets. Request to Federal Communications Commission. On or before July 1, 1993, the Department of Public Utility Control shall submit in writing to the Federal Communications Commission a request that each Connecticut community located in a broadcast television station market outside of Connecticut be included as an additional community within a Connecticut broadcast television station market, in accordance with the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, P.L. 102-385.

      (P.A. 93-53, S. 2, 3.)

      History: P.A. 93-53, S. 2 effective May 12, 1993.

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