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Statewide Video Franchising Statutes

Statewide Video Franchising Statutes

 (February 2013)

Prior to 2005, all cable companies, and other companies interested in offering cable services to consumers, were required to negotiate separate agreements with each city before they could lay cable in the ground or place cable along utility poles.  In some states these agreements were valid for up to 15 years.  In order to establish these agreements, the company needed to enter into negotiations with as many as 2,500 or more cities per state.  In order to streamline the video franchise process, the Texas Legislature in 2005 approved a cable and video franchise law that permits state issued agreements. 

Statewide video franchising allows telecommunications companies to offer television service without the need to negotiate individual agreements in every city.  A majority of these statewide video franchise agreements require franchise holders to provide public, education, and government (PEG) channels and offer certain residential subscriber protections.  In most states, either the state department or public utilities commission is responsible for issuing franchises.

California
Cal. Pub. Util. Code §5810
In order to promote competition, the state should establish a state-issued franchise authorization process that allows market participants to use their networks and systems to provide video, voice, and broadband services to all residents of the state.

Connecticut
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-331e
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.

Delaware
26 Del. C. § 601
The Commission is hereby authorized to grant franchises for cable television systems to be constructed or operated in whole or in part within the State outside the boundaries of incorporated municipalities which on June 28, 1974, have the power either express or implied under their charters to grant franchises for a system.

Florida
Fla. Stat. §610.104   
An entity or person seeking to provide cable or video service in the state after July 1, 2007, shall file an application for a state-issued certificate of franchise authority with the Department of State.

Georgia
O.C.G.A. §36-76-3
A cable service provider or video service provider may elect after January 1, 2008, to file an application for a state franchise in one or more specified service areas with the Secretary of State.

Hawaii
HRS § 440G-8
The director is empowered to issue a cable franchise to construct or operate facilities for a cable system upon the terms and conditions provided in this chapter.

Idaho
Idaho Statutes § 50-3003
Any person seeking a certificate of franchise authority shall submit an application to the Idaho secretary of state that is in accordance with the requirements of this chapter

Illinois
220 ILCS 5/21-301
A person or entity seeking to provide cable service or video service in this state after June 30, 2007 shall either (1) obtain a state‑issued authorization pursuant to Section 21‑401 of the Public Utilities Act; (2) obtain authorization pursuant to Section 11‑42‑11 of the Illinois Municipal Code; or (3) obtain authorization pursuant to Section 5‑1095 of the Counties Code.

Indiana
Ind. Code §8-1-34-16
A person who seeks to provide video service in Indiana after June 30, 2006, shall file with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission an application for a franchise.

Iowa
Iowa Code § 477A.2
After July 1, 2007, a person providing cable service or video service in this state shall not provide such service without a franchise. The franchise may be issued by either the board pursuant to section 477A.3 or by a municipality pursuant to section 364.2.

Kansas
Kan. Stat. §12-2023   
An entity or person seeking to provide cable service or video service in this state on or after July 1, 2006, shall file an application for a state-issued video service authorization with the State Corporation Commission. The State Corporation Commission shall promulgate regulations to govern the state-issued video service authorization application process.

Louisiana
L.A. RS 45:1364
Any person or entity seeking to provide cable service or video service in this state after August 15, 2008, shall file an application for a state franchise with the secretary of state as required by this Section and shall provide a copy of such application simultaneously to each local governmental subdivision listed in Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section.

Michigan
M.C.L. §484.3302
A person shall not provide video services in any local unit of government without first obtaining a uniform video service local franchise from the state.

Missouri
Mo. Rev. Stat. §67.2679
The immediate availability of state-issued video service authorization will promote fair competition among all video service providers in a local market and thereby provide new revenues to political subdivisions derived from additional video service customers, and the purchase of additional video services by such customers, and the sale of additional advertising by video service providers.  The policy will provide a more predictable source of funding for franchise entities which will continue beyond the natural terms of all existing franchise agreements.

New Jersey
N.J. Stat. §48:5A-15  
No person shall hereafter begin the construction or extension of a cable television (CATV) system, or begin the operation of a CATV system, or acquire ownership or control thereof, without first obtaining from the Board a certificate of approval or franchise issued in accordance with the provisions and procedures specified.  The issuance of a certificate of approval or a system-wide franchise by the Board to a CATV company shall be deemed to confer a franchise upon the CATV company.

North Carolina
N.C. Gen. Stat. §66-351
The Secretary of State is designated the exclusive franchising authority in the state for cable service provided over a cable system. The designation replaces the authorization to counties and cities in former G.S. 153A‑137 and G.S. 160A‑319 to award a franchise for cable service.  The designation is effective January 1, 2007. After this date, a county or city may not award or renew a franchise for cable service.

Ohio
O.H. Rev. Code § 1332.24
A video service authorization shall constitute a franchise under that law, and the director shall be the sole franchising authority under that law for video service authorizations in this state.

Rhode Island
R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-19-3
No person or company shall operate a CATV service unless there shall be in force for the same a valid certificate issued by the administrator authorizing the operation.

South Carolina
S.C. Code of Laws §58-12-310  
A person or entity seeking to provide cable or video service in this state after the effective date of the article must file an application for a state-issued certificate of franchise authority with the Secretary of State.

Tennessee
Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-59-304  
A cable or video service provider may elect to file an application with the department for a state-issued certificate of franchise authority for one (1) or more specified service areas in accordance with the procedures set forth in this part.

Texas
Tex. Util. Code §66.001
The commission shall be designated as the franchising authority for a state-issued franchise for the provision of cable service or video service.

Vermont
30 V.S.A. § 503
No company may own or operate a cable television system unless it holds a certificate of public good issued by the board authorizing it to do so.

Wisconsin
Wisc. Stat. §66.0420
Uniform regulation of all video service providers by the state is necessary to ensure that state residents receive adequate and efficient video service and to protect and promote the public health, safety, and welfare.

NCSL Contact:  Jo Anne Bourquard, jo.anne.bourquard@ncsl.org


 

 

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