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        PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 2269                      PRINTER'S NO. 4021



No. 1490 Session of 2007



                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending Title 66 (Public Utilities) of the Pennsylvania          <--
     2     Consolidated Statutes, further providing for duties of the
     3     Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; and providing for
     4     Statewide cable franchises and for municipal regulation of
     5     franchise holders of Statewide franchises. RELATING TO         <--

     7     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     8  hereby enacts as follows:
     9     Section 1.  Title 66 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated          <--
    10  Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:
    11                            CHAPTER 30A
    13  Sec.
    14  30A01.  Short title of chapter.
    15  30A02.  Declaration of policy.
    16  30A03.  Definitions.
    17  30A04.  State authorization to provide cable and/or video
    18             service.

     1  30A05.  Commission responsibilities.
     2  30A06.  Application for Statewide cable franchise.
     3  30A07.  Length of Statewide franchise.
     4  30A08.  Termination of Statewide franchise.
     5  30A09.  Abandonment of service.
     6  30A10.  Access to public rights-of-way.
     7  30A11.  Municipal regulation of franchise holders.
     8  30A12.  Payment and remittance of franchise fee.
     9  30A13.  Public, educational and governmental access channels.
    10  30A14.  Cable operator's community commitment and
    11             responsibilities.
    12  30A15.  Deployment requirements for Statewide cable license.
    13  30A16.  Discrimination in provision of service prohibited.
    14  30A17.  Requirement of adequate service and consumer protection.
    15  30A18.  Enforcement.
    16  30A19.  Statewide high-speed broadband assessment and
    17             development.
    18  § 30A01.  Short title of chapter.
    19     This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Consumer
    20  Choice Cable Franchising and High-speed Broadband Promotion Act.
    21  § 30A02.  Declaration of policy.
    22     The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
    23     That it is and has been the longstanding policy of this
    24  Commonwealth that every resident and business in this
    25  Commonwealth has a right to have equal physical and social
    26  access to adequate telecommunications services at just and
    27  reasonable rates, because universal access to the benefits of
    28  telephony is fundamental to effective communication, quality of
    29  life, economic development, public safety and security and
    30  democratic participation. Telecommunications, however, is
    20070H1490B4021                  - 2 -     

     1  undergoing dramatic changes with new technologies driving the
     2  ways people communicate with one another. No matter the source
     3  or vehicle by which people communicate with each other, the
     4  people of this Commonwealth have the right to adequate service
     5  at just and reasonable rates. Therefore, all telecommunications
     6  services must meet the highest standards of quality, reliability
     7  and safety, including protecting and expanding the system of
     8  emergency 911 service, which requires sufficient investment in
     9  telecommunications infrastructure and, as many years of
    10  experience have shown, adequate staffing provided by trained
    11  career employees operating under the applicable safety codes and
    12  regulations. New cable television services regulation is
    13  necessary to:
    14         (1)  Promote adequate, affordable and efficient cable
    15     services to the citizens and residents of this Commonwealth.
    16         (2)  Promote and encourage the optimum development of the
    17     educational, government and community-based service
    18     potentials of the cable television medium.
    19         (3)  Provide just and reasonable rates for cable
    20     television service without geographic discrimination.
    21         (4)  Protect the municipalities of this Commonwealth as
    22     to the issuance of consents and agreements for the operations
    23     of cable television companies in municipalities and
    24     jurisdictions of municipalities.
    25         (5)  Protect the rights of consumers to access lawful
    26     Internet content of their choice, subject to law enforcement,
    27     and connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm
    28     the network.
    29         (6)  Cooperate with the Federal Government in promoting
    30     and coordinating efforts to regulate cable television
    20070H1490B4021                  - 3 -     

     1     effectively and in the public interest.
     2         (7)  Competition in providing cable services is emerging
     3     with the convergence of pre-existing and new technologies for
     4     providing voice, video and data services, which results in
     5     increased investment in this Commonwealth, lower prices and
     6     improved service offerings for consumers.
     7         (8)  Increased investment in and the potential for
     8     competition in the cable service market through the provision
     9     of new communications services and deployment of advanced
    10     communication infrastructure further enhances economic
    11     opportunities and the overall health, safety and welfare of
    12     the residents of this Commonwealth.
    13         (9)  State-issued franchises for providing cable service
    14     will promote and facilitate the deployment of advanced
    15     technologies and new services ubiquitously to all communities
    16     and preserve Pennsylvania's ability to compete in the
    17     national and global market place for business and industry
    18     and the creation and preservation of jobs.
    19         (10)  Modifying existing cable service regulation through
    20     the enactment of new standards and procedures that provide
    21     consumers with access to a competitive, facilities-based
    22     cable market that also preserves the municipal authority to
    23     maintain and manage public rights-of-way, collect a franchise
    24     fee, administer public educational and governmental access
    25     channels and ensure that competitive cable services are
    26     delivered in a nondiscriminatory manner is warranted in this
    27     Commonwealth.
    28         (11)  Nothing in this act shall be seen to limit or
    29     reduce the protection afforded to cable television customers,
    30     broadband Internet services customers, telephone customers
    20070H1490B4021                  - 4 -     

     1     and customers of advanced communications services generally,
     2     and it is in the public interest to ensure that customers
     3     continue to be provided a high level of customer protection
     4     and customer service in a more competitive market. Therefore,
     5     the General Assembly declares that the Commonwealth needs to
     6     fundamentally reform broadband Internet access and cable
     7     television to provide 21st Century technology to all
     8     Pennsylvanians that is safe, reliable and affordable.
     9  § 30A03.  Definitions.
    10     The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
    11  shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    12  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    13     "Cable operator."  Any person or group of persons who:
    14         (1)  provides cable service over a cable system and
    15     directly or through one or more affiliates owns a significant
    16     interest in such cable system; or
    17         (2)  otherwise controls or is responsible for, through
    18     any arrangement, the management and operation of such a cable
    19     system, as set forth in section 522(5) of the Cable
    20     Communications Policy Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 47
    21     U.S.C. § 522(5)).
    22     "Cable service."  The one-way transmission to subscribers of
    23  video programming or other programming service, and subscriber
    24  interaction, if any, which is required for the selection or use
    25  of such video programming or other programming service and
    26  subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the
    27  selection or use of such video programming or other programming
    28  service, regardless of the technology utilized by a cable
    29  television company to enable such selection or use.
    30     "Cable system."  Any facility consisting of a set of closed
    20070H1490B4021                  - 5 -     

     1  transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception
     2  and control equipment that is designed to provide cable service
     3  which includes video programming without regard to the
     4  technology used to deliver such video programming, including
     5  Internet protocol technology or any successor technology and
     6  which is provided to multiple subscribers within a community, as
     7  set forth in section 522(7) of the Cable Communications Policy
     8  Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 47 U.S.C. § 522(7)), but the
     9  term does not include:
    10         (1)  A facility that serves only to retransmit the
    11     television signals of one or more television broadcast
    12     stations.
    13         (2)  A facility that serves subscribers without using any
    14     public rights-of-way.
    15         (3)  A facility of a common carrier which is subject, in
    16     whole or in part, to the provisions of Title II of the
    17     Communications Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 1064, 47 U.S.C. § 201 et
    18     seq.), except that such facility shall be considered a cable
    19     system other than for purposes of section 541(c) of the Cable
    20     Communications Policy Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 47
    21     U.S.C. § 541(c)) to the extent such facility is used in the
    22     transmission of video programming directly to subscribers,
    23     unless the extent of such use is solely to provide
    24     interactive on-demand services.
    25         (4)  An open video system that complies with section 573
    26     of the Communications Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 1064, 47 U.S.C. §
    27     573).
    28         (5)  Any facilities of any electric utility used solely
    29     for operating its electric utility system.
    30     "CATV company."  Any person or group of persons who:
    20070H1490B4021                  - 6 -     

     1         (1)  provides cable service over a cable system and
     2     directly or through one or more affiliates owns a significant
     3     interest in such cable system; or
     4         (2)  otherwise controls or is responsible for, through
     5     any arrangement, the management and operation of such a cable
     6     system.
     7     "CATV system."  Any facility which receives and amplifies the
     8  signals broadcast by one or more television stations and
     9  redistributes such signals by wire, cable or other means or
    10  which distributes signals it originates or which are originated
    11  by another for viewing by subscribers, whether the wire, cable
    12  or other facilities are owned or leased. A CATV system shall not
    13  include:
    14         (1)  the poles or other facilities of any telephone
    15     corporation used to provide channel service as a common
    16     carrier;
    17         (2)  a system serving not more than 250 subscribers; or
    18         (3)  a master antenna system servicing subscribers
    19     situated on property under common ownership.
    20     "Commission."  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, or
    21  successor agency.
    22     "Franchise."  An initial authorization, or renewal of an
    23  authorization, issued by a franchising authority, regardless of
    24  whether the authorization is designated as a franchise, permit,
    25  license, resolution, contract, certificate, agreement or
    26  otherwise, that authorizes the construction and operation of a
    27  cable system in public rights-of-way.
    28     "Franchise holder."  A person who has received a State-issued
    29  certificate of franchise authority but has not transferred or
    30  terminated such franchise authorization, in accordance with the
    20070H1490B4021                  - 7 -     

     1  provisions of this chapter.
     2     "Franchising authority."  The commission and municipalities
     3  which are entitled to grant franchises and impose fees in
     4  accordance with sections 522(10) and 542 of the Cable
     5  Communications Policy Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 47 U.S.C.
     6  §§ 522(10) and 542).
     7     "Gross revenues."  Any and all revenues, including cash,
     8  credits, property or consideration of any kind or nature arising
     9  from, attributable to, or in any way derived directly or
    10  indirectly from the operation of the franchisee's cable system,
    11  including the studios and other associated facilities, to
    12  provide cable services. Gross revenues include, by way of
    13  illustration and not limitation, monthly fees charged
    14  subscribers for any basic, optional, premium, per-channel, per-
    15  program or cable programming service; installation
    16  disconnection, reconnection and change-in-service fees; leased
    17  channel fees; late fees and administrative fees; payments or
    18  other consideration received from programmers for carriage of
    19  programming on the system; revenues from rentals or sales of
    20  converters or other equipment; any studio rental, production
    21  equipment and personnel fees; advertising revenues; barter;
    22  revenues from program guides; revenues from the sale or carriage
    23  of other cable services; and revenues from home shopping
    24  channels and other revenue sharing arrangements. Gross revenues
    25  shall include revenues received by an entity other than the
    26  franchisee, an affiliate or other entity that operates the
    27  system where necessary to prevent evasion or avoidance of the
    28  obligation to pay the franchise fee. The term shall not include:
    29         (1)  amounts not actually received, even if billed, such
    30     as bad debt; refunds, rebates or discounts to subscribers or
    20070H1490B4021                  - 8 -     

     1     third parties; or revenue imputed from the provision of cable
     2     services for free or at reduced rates to any person as
     3     required or allowed by law, including, without limitation,
     4     the provision of such services to public institutions, public
     5     schools, governmental entities or employees, other than
     6     forgone revenue chosen not to be received in exchange for
     7     trades, barters, services or other items of value; or
     8         (2)  any revenue from any charges or fees derived from
     9     services classified as noncable services and information
    10     services and any other revenues attributed by the holder of a
    11     certificate of approval or systemwide franchise to noncable
    12     services in accordance with the Federal Communications
    13     Commission's rules, regulations, standards or orders; amounts
    14     billed to and collected from subscribers to recover any tax,
    15     fee or surcharge of general applicability imposed by any
    16     governmental entity on the holder of a certificate of
    17     approval; or a systemwide franchise, including, without
    18     limitation, sales and use taxes, gross receipt taxes, excise
    19     taxes, utility user taxes, public service taxes,
    20     communication taxes and any other fee not imposed. In the
    21     case of cable service that may be bundled or integrated
    22     functionally with other services, capabilities or
    23     applications, the gross revenues shall only include those
    24     charges or fees derived from or attributable to the provision
    25     of cable service, as reflected on the books and records of
    26     the holder of a certificate of approval or a systemwide
    27     franchise, as the case may be, in accordance with the rules,
    28     regulations, standards and orders of the Federal
    29     Communications Commission.
    30     "High-speed broadband."  A communication channel using any
    20070H1490B4021                  - 9 -     

     1  technology and having a bandwidth equal to or greater than two
     2  megabits per second (mps) in the downstream direction and equal
     3  to or greater than one megabit in the upstream.
     4     "Incumbent cable operator."  The cable operator serving the
     5  largest number of cable subscribers in a particular municipal
     6  franchise area on the effective date of this chapter.
     7     "Low-income household."  A household whose income is 30% of
     8  the median household income in this Commonwealth.
     9     "Municipality."  Cities of the first class, cities of the
    10  second class, cities of the second class A, cities of the third
    11  class, boroughs, incorporated towns, townships of the first
    12  class, townships of the second class and home rule
    13  municipalities within this Commonwealth.
    14     "Person."  An individual, partnership, association, joint
    15  stock company, trust, corporation, government entity, limited
    16  liability company or any other entity.
    17     "Public rights-of-way."  The areas on, below or above public
    18  roadways, highways, streets, public sidewalks, alleys, waterways
    19  or utility easements in which a municipality has an interest.
    20     "Service area."  For corporations providing
    21  telecommunications services, the term includes the entire
    22  territory in which the company provides telecommunications
    23  service.
    24     "Video programming."  Programming provided by, or generally
    25  considered comparable to programming provided by, a television
    26  broadcast station, as set forth in section 522(20) of the Cable
    27  Communications Policy Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 47 U.S.C.
    28  § 522(20)).
    29  § 30A04.  State authorization to provide cable and/or video
    30             service.
    20070H1490B4021                 - 10 -     

     1     (a)  General rule.--Notwithstanding any other law to the
     2  contrary and subject to the provisions of this chapter, a person
     3  seeking to provide cable service in this Commonwealth after the
     4  effective date of this chapter may file an application for a
     5  Statewide franchise with the commission as required by this
     6  section. This section does not preclude cable operators from
     7  filing individual applications under this chapter, however, a
     8  person seeking to provide cable service in this Commonwealth,
     9  whether a Statewide franchise under this section or section
    10  30A06 (relating to application for Statewide cable franchise) or
    11  a municipal franchise under section 30A11 (relating to municipal
    12  regulation of franchise holders) shall be subject to all other
    13  provisions of this chapter.
    14     (b)  Compliance.--A person filing an application for a
    15  Statewide franchise with the commission shall be required upon
    16  receipt of such franchise to comply with section 30A14(f)
    17  (relating to cable operator's community commitment and
    18  responsibilities) with regard to all in-State broadband and
    19  broadband-capable facilities and lines built during the initial
    20  build-out period pursuant to the authorization provided by such
    21  franchise and for the period of the initial build-out period
    22  with regard to such person's in-State broadband and broadband-
    23  capable facilities and lines in existence when such franchise
    24  becomes effective.
    25     (c)  Grandfather provision.--A person including an incumbent
    26  cable operator providing cable service under a franchise
    27  agreement with a franchising authority which existed prior to
    28  the effective date of this chapter is not subject to this
    29  section until the franchise agreement expires at the end of its
    30  original or any mutually agreeable renewal term, or unless and
    20070H1490B4021                 - 11 -     

     1  until the franchising authority and entity providing cable
     2  service mutually agree to terminate the existing franchise
     3  agreement.
     4     (d)  Restrictions.--Nothing in this section shall restrict a
     5  cable operator from applying to the commission for a Statewide
     6  franchise authority to provide cable and/or video service in
     7  territories of this Commonwealth.
     8     (e)  Franchising authority.--The commission shall have the
     9  franchising authority to issue Statewide franchises to provide
    10  cable service under this chapter. Neither the commission nor any
    11  municipality in this Commonwealth may require a franchise holder
    12  to obtain any separate or additional franchise or otherwise
    13  impose any fee or other requirement, including, but not limited
    14  to, the regulation of cable service rates, on any franchise
    15  holder as a condition of providing cable service, except as
    16  provided in this chapter.
    17  § 30A05.  Commission responsibilities.
    18     (a)  General rule.--The commission shall assign existing
    19  permanent staff of such legal, technical and other employees of
    20  the commission as may be required for the proper conduct of its
    21  cable franchising responsibilities under this chapter. The
    22  powers and duties of the commission with respect to Statewide
    23  franchise shall not exceed those prescribed in this chapter.
    24     (b)  Power and duties.--The commission shall be responsible
    25  for establishing additional administrative procedures not
    26  explicitly granted in this chapter for the issuance of a
    27  Statewide franchise in accordance with the provisions of this
    28  chapter. The commission's administrative powers and duties shall
    29  be limited to the provisions found in section 30A06 (relating to
    30  application for Statewide cable franchise) and additional
    20070H1490B4021                 - 12 -     

     1  powers, including the:
     2         (1)  development of procedures to submit, review and
     3     document applications filed with the commission;
     4         (2)  review of the initial submission and any updates of
     5     the general description of the service area footprint to be
     6     served or expanded, including, if applicable, any area within
     7     a municipality to be served by an applicant;
     8         (3)  determination and notice of incomplete applications;
     9         (4)  approval of applications and amended applications,
    10     or denial of such applications within the periods designated
    11     under the provisions of this article;
    12         (5)  issuance to applicants whose applications are
    13     approved for Statewide franchises to provide cable service in
    14     the service area footprint described in the application; to
    15     construct, upgrade, operate or maintain a network capable of
    16     providing such service; and to use and occupy the public
    17     rights-of-way in the delivery of that service;
    18         (6)  development of procedures to review and document the
    19     transfer or termination of a Statewide franchise;
    20         (7)  establish regulations to deal with any consumer
    21     complaints or complaints alleging violations of any
    22     provisions of this chapter. Such regulations shall be easily
    23     accessible to Commonwealth residents and shall be posted on
    24     the Internet. The commission shall also provide consumer
    25     complaint forms on the Internet. In addition to any other
    26     authority granted by law, the Office of Consumer Advocate and
    27     the Office of Small Business Advocate shall have the
    28     authority to represent the interests of consumers under this
    29     chapter; and
    30         (8)  establish procedures for the periodic review of the
    20070H1490B4021                 - 13 -     

     1     compliance of Statewide franchises with the rules,
     2     regulations and commitments required in this chapter.
     3  § 30A06.  Application for Statewide cable franchise.
     4     (a)  General rule.--Any person desiring to provide cable
     5  service in this Commonwealth after the effective date of this
     6  chapter may file an application for a Statewide franchise with
     7  the commission as required by this section.
     8     (b)  Contents of application.--Applications for a Statewide
     9  franchise shall contain and be limited to:
    10         (1)  A statement that the applicant has filed or will
    11     timely file with the Federal Communications Commission all
    12     forms required by that agency in advance of offering cable
    13     service in this Commonwealth.
    14         (2)  A statement that the applicant agrees to comply with
    15     all other applicable Federal and State statutes and
    16     regulations and all generally applicable municipal ordinances
    17     and regulations regarding the time, place and manner of using
    18     and occupying public rights-of-way adopted in accordance with
    19     Federal and State law.
    20         (3)  A general description of the service area footprint
    21     to be served, including, if applicable, any area within a
    22     municipality to be served by the applicant. The description
    23     may be set forth on one or more maps. If the applicant is a
    24     telecommunications carrier or an affiliate of a
    25     telecommunications carrier, the service area shall include a
    26     description of the territory in which the company provides
    27     telephone service. Descriptions of service area footprints
    28     shall be updated by the applicant prior to the expansion of
    29     cable service to a previously undesignated service area and,
    30     upon such expansion, written notice shall be given to the
    20070H1490B4021                 - 14 -     

     1     commission of the new service area to be served by the
     2     applicant. The State-issued franchise area and any service
     3     area within the franchise area may extend beyond the area or
     4     areas where the applicant has preexisting authority to occupy
     5     the public rights-of-way.
     6         (4)  The location of the applicant's principal place of
     7     business, the names of the applicant's principal executive
     8     officers, and the name, address and telephone number of an
     9     officer, general partner or other employee of the applicant
    10     who will be responsible for ongoing communications with the
    11     commission.
    12         (5)  The name and location of the principal place of
    13     business of the applicant's parent company, if any.
    14         (6)  The signature of an officer or general partner of
    15     the applicant verifying the information set forth in the
    16     application.
    17         (7)  Demonstration that the financial, technical,
    18     managerial and legal character and other qualifications
    19     needed to construct, operate and maintain the necessary plant
    20     and to provide service in a safe, adequate and proper manner,
    21     including compliance with the act of July 9, 1990 (P.L.340,
    22     No.78), known as the Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act.
    23         (8)  A record of compliance with Federal, State and local
    24     laws.
    25         (9)  Commitment that all installation, maintenance,
    26     billing, customer service and associated work related to the
    27     provision of cable television service will be performed in
    28     this Commonwealth.
    29         (10)  Additional information as needed by the commission.
    30     (c)  List of municipalities.--Upon filing an application with
    20070H1490B4021                 - 15 -     

     1  the commission for a systemwide franchise agreement pursuant to
     2  subsection (b), the applicant shall include a list of the
     3  specific municipalities to which CATV service will be provided
     4  or extended, the anticipated construction and deployment dates
     5  and the anticipated date on which service will be offered and a
     6  certified statement that such deployment will meet the
     7  requirements of sections 30A15 and 30A16. The applicant shall
     8  concurrently provide a copy of the application to each affected
     9  municipality.
    10     (d)  Notification.--Within 15 business days after it receives
    11  the application, the commission shall:
    12         (1)  determine whether an application submitted is
    13     incomplete; and
    14         (2)  if so, the commission shall notify the applicant
    15     that the application is incomplete and identify the
    16     information that the commission must receive from the
    17     applicant to make the application complete.
    18     (e)  Application decision.--Within 120 days after it receives
    19  the completed application, the commission shall approve the
    20  application and issue a Statewide franchise to the applicant or
    21  deny the application. Within 120 days of the receipt, the
    22  commission shall schedule three public hearings to be held in
    23  different geographical areas of this Commonwealth to gain public
    24  comment in consideration of the application. On or before the
    25  expiration of the 120-day period, the commission shall issue an
    26  order in writing approving the application if the applicant has
    27  complied with the requirements for a Statewide franchise, or the
    28  commission shall disapprove the application in writing, citing
    29  the reasons for disapproval if the commission determines that
    30  the application for a Statewide franchise does not comply with
    20070H1490B4021                 - 16 -     

     1  the requirements for a Statewide franchise. The commission may
     2  deny the application only if the applicant has failed to state
     3  in the application the information and representations required
     4  by subsection (b). If the commission denies the application, it
     5  must specify with particularity the reason or reasons for the
     6  denial, and the applicant may amend its application to cure any
     7  deficiency. The commission shall decide upon the amended
     8  application within 60 business days of its submission to the
     9  commission by the applicant. If the commission denies the
    10  application, the commission shall schedule a public meeting with
    11  the applicant to explain to the applicant the reasons for the
    12  commission's disapproval. The meeting shall be scheduled no
    13  later that 30 days following the expiration of the 120-day
    14  review period as required by this subsection. The applicant
    15  shall have 30 days following the date of the meeting with the
    16  commission to file an appeal of the board's decision. The
    17  commission shall thereafter schedule an administrative hearing
    18  not later than the 30th day following the date of the filing of
    19  the applicant's appeal in order to consider the applicant's
    20  appeal. The commission shall issue a final decision in written
    21  form on the applicant's appeal not later than the 60th day
    22  following the administrative hearing, required by this
    23  subsection, on the applicant's appeal. After an administrative
    24  period an applicant may challenge a denial of its application or
    25  amended application in any court of competent jurisdiction.
    26     (f)  Contents of franchise authorization.--A Statewide
    27  franchise authorization shall contain:
    28         (1)  A grant of a franchise to provide cable service in
    29     the service area footprint described in the application, and
    30     to construct, upgrade, operate or maintain a network capable
    20070H1490B4021                 - 17 -     

     1     of providing such service, except where a network grant is
     2     not required to use and occupy public rights-of-way in the
     3     delivery of that service.
     4         (2)  A statement that the franchise grant in paragraph
     5     (1) is subject to lawful operation of the cable service by
     6     the applicant or its successor in interest.
     7     (g)  Preexisting authority.--An applicant having preexisting
     8  authority to utilize public rights-of-way is required to obtain
     9  a Statewide franchise prior to the actual provision of cable
    10  service on a commercial basis directly to subscribers. However,
    11  such an applicant is not required to obtain a Statewide
    12  franchise or any municipality authorization, except for being
    13  subject to municipal right-of-way requirements, in order to
    14  construct, upgrade, operate or maintain a network that is
    15  capable of providing cable service.
    16     (h)  Nontransferability.--A systemwide franchise issued by
    17  the commission shall be nontransferable, except by written
    18  consent. In order to grant such consent the commission shall:
    19         (1)  Develop rules and procedures to ensure that any
    20     company applying for a transfer shall meet all Statewide
    21     franchisee requirements and commitments included with this
    22     chapter.
    23         (2)  Obtain a commitment from company obtaining the
    24     transfer that any collective bargaining agreement entered
    25     into by a CATV provider shall continue to be honored, paid or
    26     performed to the same extent as would be required if the CATV
    27     provider continued to operate under its franchise for the
    28     duration of that franchise unless the duration of that
    29     agreement is limited by its terms or by Federal or State law.
    30  § 30A07.  Length of Statewide franchise.
    20070H1490B4021                 - 18 -     

     1     A Statewide franchise issued by the commission shall be valid
     2  for six years from the date of issuance. Renewal of a Statewide
     3  franchise shall be valid for a period of six years from the date
     4  of the renewal issuance, and the commission shall establish
     5  rules governing the renewal of a Statewide franchise.
     6  § 30A08.  Termination of Statewide franchise.
     7     (a)  General rule.--A franchise shall terminate at the
     8  expiration of its term or otherwise in accordance with the
     9  provisions thereof, unless, prior thereto, the commission
    10  otherwise orders.
    11     (b)  Commission ordering termination.--The commission may
    12  order a termination only if it finds, after public notice and
    13  opportunity for a hearing, that the franchisee:
    14         (1)  has committed a material breach of its franchise or
    15     any applicable provision of this chapter or of the
    16     regulations promulgated under this chapter and has failed,
    17     without reasonable justification, to cure said breach within
    18     60 days after having received written notice thereof from the
    19     commission;
    20         (2)  has not met the requirements of sections 30A15
    21     (relating to deployment requirements for Statewide cable
    22     license) and 30A16 (relating to discrimination in provision
    23     of service prohibited); or
    24         (3)  has been adjudicated a bankrupt or has filed a
    25     voluntary petition for bankruptcy or reorganization or for an
    26     order protecting its assets from the claims of creditors and
    27     the commission finds that termination of the franchise or
    28     certificate of confirmation under such conditions is in the
    29     best interest of the public.
    30     (c)  Upon termination.--Upon termination of a franchise or
    20070H1490B4021                 - 19 -     

     1  certificate of confirmation, the cable operator shall dispose of
     2  its facilities in accordance with the provisions of the
     3  franchise or certificate. However, on motion of any interested
     4  party or upon its own motion, and after public notice and
     5  opportunity for hearing, if the commission finds that the
     6  continued presence of the facilities in any public thoroughfare
     7  would pose a nuisance to the municipality or its residents, the
     8  operator shall remove its facilities within such period as the
     9  commission shall order. In the absence of any applicable
    10  franchise or certificate provision or order by the commission to
    11  the contrary, the cable television company may abandon its
    12  facilities.
    13  § 30A09.  Abandonment of service.
    14     (a)  General rule.--No cable operator may abandon any service
    15  or portion thereof without giving six months' prior written
    16  notice to the commission and to the franchisor, if any, and to
    17  the municipalities it serves.
    18     (b)  Written consent.--When abandonment of any service is
    19  prohibited by a franchise, no cable operator may abandon such
    20  service without written consent of the commission. In granting
    21  such consent, the commission may impose such terms, conditions
    22  or requirements as in its judgment are necessary to protect the
    23  public interest.
    24  § 30A10.  Access to public rights-of-way.
    25     (a)  General rule.--Municipalities shall allow a franchise
    26  holder under this chapter to install, construct and maintain
    27  facilities capable of providing cable and/or video service
    28  within public rights-of-way within the jurisdiction of the
    29  municipality under the same terms and conditions as applicable
    30  to public utility corporations under applicable Federal and
    20070H1490B4021                 - 20 -     

     1  State law.
     2     (b)  Nondiscrimination.--No municipality shall discriminate
     3  against a franchise holder regarding the authorization or
     4  placement of a communications network in public rights-of-way,
     5  access to a building or a utility pole attachment term. All
     6  municipality public right-of-way requirements applicable to
     7  cable operators and video service providers must be
     8  competitively neutral, reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
     9     (c)  Construction permits and licenses.--In the exercise of
    10  their lawful regulatory authority, municipalities shall promptly
    11  process all valid and administratively complete applications of
    12  a franchise holder for a permit or license to excavate, set
    13  poles, locate lines, construct facilities, make repairs, affect
    14  traffic flow or other similar approvals. The municipality shall
    15  make every reasonable effort not to delay or unduly burden the
    16  franchise holder in the timely conduct of the holder's business.
    17     (d)  Expedited response or repair.--In the event of fire,
    18  flooding, accident or other exigent circumstances necessitating
    19  immediate response work or repair by the franchise holder, the
    20  franchise holder may begin the repair or response work without
    21  prior approval from the affected municipality, provided,
    22  however, that the franchise holder shall notify the municipality
    23  as promptly as reasonably possible after beginning the work and
    24  shall subsequently obtain any approval required by a municipal
    25  ordinance applicable to expedited response or repair work.
    26     (e)  Indemnity in connection with public rights-of-way.--A
    27  franchise holder shall indemnify and hold a municipality and its
    28  officers and employees harmless against any and all claims,
    29  lawsuits, judgments, costs, liens, losses, expenses, fees,
    30  including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs of defense,
    20070H1490B4021                 - 21 -     

     1  proceedings, actions, demands, causes of action, liability and
     2  suits of any kind and nature, including personal or bodily
     3  injury or death, property damage or other harm for which
     4  recovery of damages is sought, that is found by a court of
     5  competent jurisdiction to be caused solely by the negligent act,
     6  error or omission of the franchise holder or any agent, officer,
     7  director, representative, employee, affiliate or subcontractor
     8  of the franchise holder or their respective officers, agents,
     9  employees, directors or representatives, while installing,
    10  repairing or maintaining facilities in a municipality public
    11  right-of-way. The indemnity provided by this subsection does not
    12  apply to any liability resulting from the negligence of the
    13  municipality or its officers, employees, contractors or
    14  subcontractors. If the franchise holder and the municipality are
    15  found jointly liable by a court of competent jurisdiction,
    16  liability shall be apportioned comparatively in accordance with
    17  the laws of this Commonwealth without, however, waiving any
    18  governmental immunity available to the municipality under State
    19  law and without waiving any defenses of the parties under State
    20  law. This subsection is solely for the benefit of the
    21  municipality and the franchise holder and does not create or
    22  grant any rights, contractual or otherwise, for or to any other
    23  person or entity.
    24     (f)  Written notice.--A franchise holder and a municipality
    25  shall promptly advise the other in writing of any known claim or
    26  demand against the holder or the municipality related to or
    27  arising out of the holder's activities in a public right-of-way.
    28  § 30A11.  Municipal regulation of franchise holders.
    29     A municipality may:
    30         (1)  Exercise its nondiscriminatory police power with
    20070H1490B4021                 - 22 -     

     1     respect to its public rights-of-way and a franchise holder's
     2     use thereof, which may include requiring the holders to
     3     provide the municipality with maps showing the location of
     4     its cable system and its communications facilities, if any,
     5     within the municipality.
     6         (2)  Receive and mediate cable service quality complaints
     7     from a franchise holder's customers within the municipality.
     8         (3)  Require a franchise holder who is providing cable
     9     service within the municipality to register with the
    10     municipality, maintain a point-of-contact and provide notice
    11     of any franchise authorization transfer to the municipality
    12     within 14 business days after the completion of the transfer.
    13         (4)  Establish reasonable guidelines regarding the use of
    14     public, educational and governmental access channels within
    15     the municipality in addition to those established under this
    16     chapter.
    17         (5)  Nothing in this title shall be construed to preclude
    18     the continued provision or offering of telecommunications
    19     services by a political subdivision.
    20  § 30A12.  Payment and remittance of franchise fee.
    21     (a)  General rule.--A franchise holder who offers cable
    22  service within the jurisdiction of a municipality shall
    23  calculate and remit to the municipality at the end of each
    24  calendar year quarter a franchise fee as provided in this
    25  section. The obligation to calculate and remit the franchise fee
    26  to a municipality shall begin immediately upon provision of
    27  cable service within that municipality's jurisdiction. However,
    28  the first remittance shall not be due until the end of the first
    29  calendar year quarter that is at least 180 days after the
    30  provision of cable service began.
    20070H1490B4021                 - 23 -     

     1     (b)  Calculation of franchise fee.--The franchise fee shall
     2  be calculated as a percentage of the franchise holder's gross
     3  revenues equal to the franchise fee percentage applied by the
     4  municipality to the incumbent cable operator in the
     5  municipality, or when no incumbent cable operator exists, a
     6  percentage agreed to by the holder and the municipality or,
     7  absent such agreement, a percentage prescribed by the
     8  municipality in an ordinance, provided, however, that the
     9  percentage shall not exceed 5%. After the expiration of the
    10  incumbent cable operator's franchise, a municipality may, by
    11  ordinance, change the percentage applied to the gross revenues
    12  of the franchise holder and the incumbent cable operator,
    13  provided that after such change the percentage shall not exceed
    14  5% and shall apply equally to all cable operators operating
    15  within the municipality.
    16     (c)  Documentation.--No fee under this section will become
    17  due until the municipality certifies and provides documentation
    18  to the franchise holder supporting the percentage paid by any
    19  incumbent cable operator serving the area within the
    20  municipality's jurisdiction.
    21     (d)  Restrictions.--No municipality or any other political
    22  subdivision of this Commonwealth may assess any additional fees
    23  or charges or other remuneration of any kind from a franchise
    24  holder other than as set forth in this section or in section
    25  30A13 (relating to public, educational and governmental
    26  channels).
    27     (e)  Application to bundled services.--For purposes of this
    28  section, in the case of a cable service that may be bundled or
    29  integrated functionally with other services, capabilities or
    30  applications, the franchise fee shall be applied only to the
    20070H1490B4021                 - 24 -     

     1  gross revenues, as defined in this chapter, attributable to
     2  cable service, as reflected on the books and records of the
     3  holder in accordance with generally accepted accounting
     4  principles and Federal Communications Commission rules,
     5  regulations, standards or orders, as applicable.
     6     (f)  Remittance and review of franchise fee.--The franchise
     7  fee shall be remitted to the applicable municipality quarterly,
     8  within 45 days after the end of the quarter for the preceding
     9  calendar quarter. Each payment shall be accompanied by a summary
    10  explaining the basis for the calculation of the franchise fee.
    11  Not more than once annually, a municipality may examine the
    12  franchise holder's business records to the extent reasonably
    13  necessary to ensure compensation in accordance with this
    14  section. Each party shall bear the party's own costs of the
    15  examination. Any claims by a municipality that compensation is
    16  not in accordance with this section, and any claims for refunds
    17  or other corrections to a remittance of a franchise holder, must
    18  be made within three years and 45 days of the end of the quarter
    19  for which compensation is remitted or three years from the date
    20  of remittance, whichever is later. Either a municipality or a
    21  franchise holder may, in the event of a dispute concerning
    22  compensation under this section, bring an action in a court of
    23  competent jurisdiction.
    24  § 30A13.  Public, educational and governmental access channels.
    25     (a)  General rule.--A franchise holder shall provide
    26  municipalities it serves with capacity in its cable service to
    27  allow public, educational and governmental (PEG) access
    28  channels. For the purposes of this section, PEG channels shall
    29  be defined as analog channels of six Mhz bandwidth or the same
    30  as any other channel on the basic tier, whichever is greater. In
    20070H1490B4021                 - 25 -     

     1  addition to the requirements set forth in this section, the
     2  commission may issue additional rules or guidelines regarding
     3  PEG access channels. The holder shall provide the same ancillary
     4  services to the PEG channels as the incumbent providers.
     5     (b)  Provisioning of access channels.--The franchise holder
     6  shall designate a sufficient amount of capacity on its cable
     7  service to allow the provision of a comparable number of PEG
     8  access channels or hours of programming that the incumbent cable
     9  operator has activated and provided within the municipality
    10  under the terms of its franchise agreement as of the effective
    11  date of this chapter. If a municipality did not have PEG access
    12  channels as of that date, the cable operator shall furnish to
    13  the municipality upon request up to three PEG access channels
    14  for a municipality with a population of at least 50,000 and up
    15  to two PEG access channels for a municipality with a population
    16  of less than 50,000. The holder shall have 12 months from the
    17  date the municipality requests such PEG access channels to
    18  designate the PEG access channel capacity, provided, however,
    19  that the 12-month period shall be tolled by any period during
    20  which the designation or provision of PEG access channel
    21  capacity is technically infeasible, including any failure or
    22  delay of the incumbent cable operator to make adequate
    23  interconnection available, as required by this section. In
    24  cities with a population of 80,000 or more persons, if a system
    25  has total activated bandwidth in excess of 862 Mhz then at least
    26  two additional PEG channels shall be set aside by the holder,
    27  including one for public access.
    28     (c)  Channel responsibility.--The content and operation of
    29  any PEG access channel provided pursuant to this section shall
    30  be the responsibility of the municipality receiving the benefit
    20070H1490B4021                 - 26 -     

     1  of such channel, and the franchise holder bears only the
     2  responsibility for the transmission of such channel, subject to
     3  technological constraints. The franchise holder shall be
     4  responsible for providing the connectivity, as well as other
     5  equipment necessary, to each PEG access channel programming
     6  distribution location and for doing so without charge for up to
     7  the first 200 feet of the holder's connecting facilities.
     8     (d)  Transmission of municipal programming.--The
     9  municipality, or its designees, must ensure that all
    10  transmissions, content or programming to be transmitted over a
    11  PEG access channel or facility by a franchise holder are
    12  provided or submitted to the franchise holder in a manner or
    13  form that is capable of being accepted and transmitted by the
    14  franchise holder, without requirement for additional alteration
    15  or change in the content by the franchise holder, over the
    16  franchise holder's cable service. The municipality's provision
    17  of PEG content to the franchise holder shall constitute
    18  authorization for the franchise holder to carry such content
    19  including, at the franchise holder's option, beyond the
    20  jurisdictional boundaries of the municipality.
    21     (e)  Interconnection.--Each franchise holder and incumbent
    22  cable operator shall use reasonable efforts to interconnect
    23  their facilities for the purpose of providing PEG access channel
    24  programming. Interconnection may be accomplished by direct
    25  cable, microwave link, satellite or other reasonable method of
    26  connection. Franchise holders and incumbent cable operators
    27  shall negotiate in good faith and incumbent cable operators may
    28  not withhold interconnection of PEG channels. In the event a
    29  franchise holder and an incumbent cable operator cannot reach a
    30  mutually acceptable interconnection agreement, then the duty of
    20070H1490B4021                 - 27 -     

     1  the holder shall be discharged if the holder makes
     2  interconnection available to the channel originator at a point
     3  on the franchise holder's network, as determined by the
     4  franchise holder.
     5     (f)  Use of PEG channels.--The PEG channels shall be for the
     6  exclusive use of the local entity or its designee to provide
     7  public, educational and governmental channels. The PEG channels
     8  shall be used only for noncommercial purposes. However,
     9  advertising, underwriting or sponsorship recognition may be
    10  carried on the channels for the purpose of funding PEG-related
    11  activities. The PEG channels shall all be carried on the basic
    12  service tier. To the extent feasible, the PEG channel shall not
    13  be separated numerically from other channels carried on the
    14  basic service tier and the channel numbers for the PEG channels
    15  shall be the same channel numbers used by the incumbent cable
    16  operator unless prohibited by Federal law. After the initial
    17  designation of PEG channel numbers, the channel numbers shall
    18  not be changed without the agreement of the local entity unless
    19  the change is required by Federal law. Each channel shall be
    20  capable of carrying a national television system committee
    21  (NTSC) television signal.
    22     (g)  Content.--The content to be provided over the PEG
    23  channel capacity provided pursuant to this section shall be the
    24  responsibility of the local entity or its designee receiving the
    25  benefit of that capacity, and the holder of a State franchise
    26  bears only the responsibility for the transmission of that
    27  content, subject to technological constraints.
    28     (h)  PEG signal and capacity.--The PEG signal shall be
    29  receivable by all subscribers, whether they receive digital or
    30  analog service, or a combination thereof, without the need for
    20070H1490B4021                 - 28 -     

     1  any equipment other than the equipment necessary to receive the
     2  lowest cost tier of service. The PEG access capacity provided
     3  shall be of similar quality and functionality to that offered by
     4  commercial channels on the lowest cost tier of service unless
     5  the signal is provided to the holder at a lower quality or with
     6  less functionality.
     7     (i)  Unsatisfied obligations.--After January 1, 2007, and
     8  until the expiration of the incumbent cable operator's
     9  franchise, if the incumbent cable operator has existing
    10  unsatisfied obligations under the franchise to remit to the
    11  local entity or its designee any cash payments for the ongoing
    12  costs of public, educational and government access channel
    13  facilities, the local entity or its designee for the public
    14  access channels shall divide those cash payments among all cable
    15  providers as provided in this section. The fee shall be the
    16  holder's pro rata per-subscriber share of the cash payment
    17  required to be paid by the incumbent cable operator to the local
    18  entity or its designee community access organization for the
    19  costs of PEG channel facilities. All video service providers and
    20  the incumbent cable operator shall be subject to the same
    21  requirements for recurring payments for the support of PEG
    22  channel facilities, whether expressed as a percentage of gross
    23  revenue or as an amount per subscriber, per month or otherwise.
    24     (j)  Local fee for ongoing support.--A local entity shall
    25  establish a fee for the ongoing support of the cost of PEG
    26  facilities and services that would become effective subsequent
    27  to the expiration of any fee imposed by this chapter, provided,
    28  however, that no such fee shall be allocated such that any
    29  community access organization is receiving anything less than
    30  what it is receiving from the cable operator on the effective
    20070H1490B4021                 - 29 -     

     1  date of this chapter. If, on December 31, 2007, a local entity
     2  or its designee is imposing a separate fee to support PEG
     3  channel facilities that is in excess of 2%, that entity or its
     4  designee may establish a fee no greater than that separate fee,
     5  and in no event greater than 3%, to support PEG activities. If
     6  the PEG support fee imposed by a local entity or its designee is
     7  expressed in a manner other than as a percentage of gross
     8  revenues, the local entity or its designee community access
     9  organization may convert that fee to a currently equivalent
    10  percentage of gross revenues at any time. The local entity or
    11  its designee may adopt requirements for the provision of PEG-
    12  related in-kind resources by all cable service providers.
    13     (k)  Rules governing channel time and facilities.--Rules and
    14  regulations adopted by the community access organization shall
    15  govern the use of any channel time on the public channels as
    16  well as the equipment, facilities and services related to the
    17  public channels.
    18     (l)  Enforcement.--The commission, through an administrative
    19  proceeding, shall have the original jurisdiction to enforce any
    20  requirements under this section to resolve any dispute regarding
    21  the requirements set forth in this section. After the
    22  administrative process is exhausted, a court of competent
    23  jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction to enforce any requirement
    24  under this section or resolve any dispute regarding the
    25  requirements set forth in this section, and no cable operator
    26  may be barred from the provision of cable service or be required
    27  to terminate cable service as a result of such dispute or
    28  enforcement action.
    29  § 30A14.  Cable operator's community commitment and
    30             responsibilities.
    20070H1490B4021                 - 30 -     

     1     (a)  General rule.--Cable operators shall make the following
     2  commitments to the communities they serve.
     3     (b)  Provision of basic service to public institutions.--
     4  Cable operators shall install and retain or provide, without
     5  charge, one service outlet activated for basic service to any
     6  and all fire stations, public schools, police stations, public
     7  libraries and other such buildings used for municipal purposes.
     8     (c)  Provision of Internet service to public institutions.--
     9  Cable operators shall provide high-speed broadband Internet
    10  service, without charge, through one service outlet activated
    11  for basic service to any and all fire stations, public schools,
    12  police stations, public libraries and other such buildings used
    13  for municipal purposes.
    14     (d)  Equipment and training.--A cable operator shall provide
    15  equipment and training for access users without charge, on a
    16  schedule to be agreed upon between the municipality and the CATV
    17  company.
    18     (e)  Return feed.--The CATV company shall provide a return
    19  feed from any one location in the municipality, without charge,
    20  to the CATV company's headend or other location of
    21  interconnection to the cable television system for public,
    22  educational or governmental use, which return feed, at a
    23  minimum, provides the ability for the municipality to cablecast
    24  live or taped access programming, in real time, as may be
    25  applicable to the CATV company's customers in the municipality.
    26  No CATV company is responsible for providing a return access
    27  feed unless a municipality requests such a feed in writing. A
    28  CATV company that has interconnected with another CATV company
    29  may require the second CATV company to pay for one-half of the
    30  CATV company's absorbed costs for extension.
    20070H1490B4021                 - 31 -     

     1     (f)  Cable operator responsibilities.--Cable operators are
     2  responsible to:
     3         (1)  clearly and conspicuously disclose to users, in
     4     plain language, accurate information concerning any terms,
     5     conditions or limitations on the broadband network service
     6     they offer, the speeds of the download and uploading speeds
     7     of the provider's high-speed broadband Internet service;
     8         (2)  interconnect their facilities with the facilities of
     9     other providers of broadband network services on reasonable
    10     and nondiscriminatory terms or conditions; and
    11         (3)  not prohibit a user from attaching or using a device
    12     on the provider's network that does not physically damage or
    13     materially degrade other users' utilization of the network.
    14  § 30A15.  Deployment requirements for Statewide cable license.
    15     (a)  General rule.--As part of any franchise issued by the
    16  commission under this chapter, a cable operator shall be
    17  required to deploy cable service in their entire service
    18  territory.
    19     (b)  Deployment requirements.--Deployment requirements for
    20  cable operators with more than 250,000 or more local exchange or
    21  long-distance lines in this Commonwealth:
    22         (1)  Within three years of the issuance of the Statewide
    23     license:
    24             (i)  The operator shall provide access to its cable
    25         service including high-speed broadband Internet service
    26         on a commercial basis to a number of households at least
    27         equal to 35% of the customer households in the franchise
    28         holder's service area.
    29             (ii)  At least 25% of the households with access to
    30         the holder's cable and high-speed broadband Internet
    20070H1490B4021                 - 32 -     

     1         service on a commercial basis shall be low-income
     2         households.
     3         (2)  Within six years of the issuance of the Statewide
     4     license:
     5             (i)  the operator shall provide access to its cable
     6         and high-speed broadband Internet service on a commercial
     7         basis to 70% of the households in its service area; and
     8             (ii)  at least 30% of the households with access to
     9         the holder's cable and high-speed broad band Internet
    10         service on a commercial basis shall be low-income
    11         households.
    12         (3)  Within 12 years of the issuance of the initial
    13     Statewide license, the operator, if it obtained a franchise
    14     renewal, or any transferee shall provide access to its cable
    15     and high-speed broadband Internet service on a commercial
    16     basis service to all of the households in its service area
    17     subject to its line extension policy.
    18         (4)  After three years of providing service under this
    19     subsection, the license holder may apply to the commission
    20     for an extension of subsection (b)(1) and (2) if ten percent
    21     of the households with access to the operator's cable service
    22     have not subscribed to the license holder's cable service for
    23     six consecutive months within three years after it begins
    24     offering service.
    25     (c)  Deployment requirements for incumbent cable companies
    26  that become Statewide franchise holders.--Incumbent cable
    27  companies that become Statewide franchise holders shall not
    28  reduce the number or percentage of household served, shall build
    29  out to all residential households subject to the operator's line
    30  extension policy within three years and shall upgrade their
    20070H1490B4021                 - 33 -     

     1  facilities across the entire service area within three years of
     2  the date the cable operator upgrades any part of its facilities.
     3     (d)  Deployment requirements for all other Statewide
     4  franchise holders.--Within three years of the issuance of the
     5  franchise, all other Statewide franchise holders shall fully
     6  complete a system capable of providing cable service to all
     7  households within the cable operator's service area, subject to
     8  the cable operator's line extension policy.
     9     (e)  Discrimination by building owners prohibited.--No
    10  building owner may discriminate against a telephone company,
    11  broadband services or advanced communications company or its
    12  ability to provide services to one or more tenants of a
    13  multitenant property that is owned or controlled by the building
    14  owner, including discriminatory terms and conditions by which
    15  the telephone company, broadband services or advanced
    16  communications company gains physical access to the property to
    17  place its facilities and provide telecommunications services to
    18  the property's tenants. The commission shall have jurisdiction
    19  to implement the provisions of this subsection by appropriate
    20  rules and regulations and to adjudicate administratively
    21  disputes arising under this subsection. In no event may the lack
    22  of agreement over terms and conditions of access delay the
    23  ability of a requesting telecommunications company to obtain
    24  access for more than 30 days following an initial request
    25  therefore.
    26     (f)  Annual reports.--All license holders must file annual
    27  public reports with the commission and the relevant local entity
    28  that shall contain:
    29         (1)  The total number of actual subscribers in this
    30     Commonwealth for the preceding fiscal year.
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     1         (2)  The total number of actual subscribers within each
     2     zip code in this Commonwealth for the preceding fiscal year.
     3         (3)  A description and map of the physical area in which
     4     the license holder currently offers video services for the
     5     preceding fiscal year.
     6         (4)  A description and map of the physical area in which
     7     the license holder plans to offer video services for the next
     8     fiscal year. The license holder is not required to build out
     9     to all the described areas indicated to the commission, as
    10     long as the provisions of this chapter are being met.
    11  § 30A16.  Discrimination in provision of service prohibited.
    12     (a)  General rule.--The franchise holder shall make all
    13  efforts to become capable of providing cable service to all
    14  households within the designated service area footprint. A cable
    15  operator that has been granted a Statewide franchise under this
    16  chapter shall not deny access to cable service to any group of
    17  potential residential subscribers because of the income or race
    18  of the residents in the local area in which such group resides.
    19  A franchisee must submit to the commission a development
    20  schedule, setting forth the municipalities to be served, the
    21  date service shall begin in each proposed municipality, and a
    22  date certain by which each community will be able to receive
    23  cable service. The commission shall ensure that the build-out
    24  process is not discriminatory based on an area's class or race.
    25  If deployment of cable services under a Statewide franchise is
    26  scheduled for deployment in a given area, the cable operator
    27  must offer service to all residents within the geographic area
    28  or the commission may terminate the franchise pursuant to
    29  section 30A08 (relating to termination of Statewide franchise).
    30     (b)  Enforcement.--If the commission determines that a cable
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     1  operator has denied access to cable service to a group of
     2  potential residential subscribers because of the income levels
     3  of the residents of the local area in which such group resides
     4  or has failed to meet the requirements of the section, the
     5  commission is authorized to, after conducting a hearing with
     6  full notice and opportunity to be heard, impose monetary
     7  penalties of not less than $50,000 nor more than $100,000 per
     8  municipality, not to exceed a total of $3,650,000 per year for
     9  all violations. A municipality in which the provider offers
    10  cable service shall be an appropriate party in any such
    11  proceeding.
    12  § 30A17.  Requirement for adequate service and consumer
    13             protection.
    14     Every cable operator shall provide safe, adequate and
    15  reliable service in accordance with applicable laws, regulations
    16  and franchise requirements. Cable operators with a Statewide
    17  franchise or a franchise issued by a municipality are subject to
    18  any customer service standards pertaining to the provision of
    19  cable service established by law or regulation. All customer
    20  service and consumer protection standards under this section
    21  shall be interpreted and applied to accommodate newer or
    22  different technologies while meeting or exceeding the goals of
    23  these standards. Not withstanding any other provisions of this
    24  chapter, all customer service standards and consumer protection
    25  standards shall be interpreted and applied to any cable system
    26  operators as defined in this chapter who also provide
    27  telecommunications services to any customers in their service
    28  territory; and such telecommunications service providers shall
    29  be subject to the customer service and consumer protection
    30  requirements established in 52 Pa. Code Chs. 63 (relating to
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     1  telephone service) and 64 (relating to standards and billing
     2  practices for residential telephone service) and section
     3  3019(b)(2) (relating to additional powers and duties).
     4  § 30A18.  Enforcement.
     5     The exclusive remedy for enforcing the provisions of this
     6  chapter, shall be the commission. In addition to any other
     7  authority established under law, the Office of Consumer Advocate
     8  and the Office of Small Business Advocate shall have the
     9  authority to represent the interests of consumers under this
    10  chapter.
    11  § 30A19.  Statewide high-speed broadband assessment and
    12             development.
    13     (a)  General rule.--The Department of Community and Economic
    14  Development shall enlist a public-private partnership to
    15  implement a comprehensive, Statewide high-speed broadband
    16  Internet deployment and adoption initiative with the purpose of:
    17         (1)  Ensuring that all Commonwealth residents and
    18     businesses have access to affordable and reliable high-speed
    19     broadband Internet services.
    20         (2)  Achieving improved technology literacy, increased
    21     computer ownership and high-speed broadband Internet use
    22     among Commonwealth residents and businesses.
    23         (3)  Establishing and empowering local technology teams
    24     in each county to plan for improved technology use across
    25     multiple community sectors.
    26         (4)  Establishing and sustaining an environment ripe for
    27     telecommunications and technology investment Statewide.
    28     (b)  Private-public partnership to cooperate.--The public-
    29  private partnership as set forth in subsection (a) shall include
    30  input and cooperation among State agencies and bodies
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     1  representing economic development, local community development,
     2  technology planning, education, health care and other relevant
     3  entities. The public entities within the partnership shall
     4  collaborate with telecommunications providers, technology
     5  companies, telecommunications labor organizations, community-
     6  based organizations and relevant private sector entities to
     7  achieve the purposes set forth in subsection (a).
     8     (c)  Requirements.--The high-speed broadband Internet
     9  deployment and adoption initiative as set forth in paragraph (2)
    10  shall include, but not be limited to:
    11         (1)  Creating a geographic Statewide inventory of high-
    12     speed broadband Internet service and other relevant
    13     telecommunications and information technology services. The
    14     inventory shall:
    15             (i)  Identify geographic gaps in high-speed broadband
    16         Internet service through a method of geographic
    17         information systems (GIS) mapping of service availability
    18         and GIS analysis at the census block level.
    19             (ii)  Provide a baseline assessment of Statewide
    20         high-speed broadband Internet deployment in terms of
    21         percentage of households with high-speed broadband
    22         Internet availability.
    23             (iii)  Provide updates to these data every six
    24         months.
    25         (2)  Tracking Statewide residential and business adoption
    26     of high-speed broadband Internet, computers and related
    27     information technology; identifying barriers to adoption; and
    28     measuring progress on these data annually.
    29         (3)  Building and facilitating in each county or
    30     designated region a local technology planning team with
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     1     members representing a cross section of the community,
     2     including, but not limited to, representatives of business,
     3     telecommunications labor organizations, K-12 education,
     4     health care, libraries, higher education, community-based
     5     organizations, local government, tourism, parks and
     6     recreation and agriculture. Each team shall benchmark
     7     technology use across relevant community sectors, set goals
     8     for improved technology use within each sector and develop a
     9     tactical business plan for achieving its goals, with specific
    10     recommendations for online application development and demand
    11     creation.
    12         (4)  Working collaboratively with high-speed broadband
    13     Internet providers and technology companies across this
    14     Commonwealth to encourage deployment and use, especially in
    15     underserved areas, through the use of local demand
    16     aggregation, mapping analysis and the creation of market
    17     intelligence to improve the business case for providers to
    18     deploy.
    19         (5)  Establishing programs to improve computer ownership
    20     and Internet access for disenfranchised populations across
    21     this Commonwealth.
    22     (d)  Contracting with nonprofit.--The Department of Community
    23  and Economic Development may contract with a nonprofit
    24  organization to accomplish the objectives set forth in this
    25  chapter. The organization shall have an established competency
    26  in working with public and private sectors to accomplish wide-
    27  scale deployment and adoption of telecommunications and
    28  information technology.
    29     Section 2.  This act shall take effect immediately.
    30  SECTION 1.  DECLARATION OF POLICY.                                <--
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     2  ASSEMBLY:
    22     SUCH AREAS.
    27     PA.C.S. CH. 30.
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     9  IN ORDER TO:
    12     MONTHLY BASIS TO:
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