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it was carried on July 19, 1985, at the election of the station, or on such other channel number as is mutually agreed upon by the station and the cable operator. Any dispute regarding the positioning of a qualified local noncommercial educational television station shall be resolved by the Commission.
(h) AVAILABILITY OF SIGNALS.-Signals carried in fulfillment of the carriage obligations of a cable operator under this section shall be available to every subscriber as part of the cable system's lowest priced service tier that includes the retransmission of local commercial television broadcast signals.
(i) PAYMENT FOR CARRIAGE PROHIBITED.—
(1) IN GENERAL.-A cable operator shall not accept monetary payment or other valuable consideration in exchange for carriage of the signal of any qualified local noncommercial educational television station carried in fulfillment of the requirements of this section, except that such a station may be required to bear the cost associated with delivering a good quality signal or a baseband video signal to the principal headend of the cable system.
(2) DISTANT SIGNAL EXCEPTION.-Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a cable operator shall not be required to add the signal of a qualified local noncommercial educational television station not already carried under the provision of subsection (c), where such signal would be considered a distant signal for copyright purposes unless such station indemnifies the cable operator for any increased copyright costs resulting from carriage of such signal.
(1) COMPLAINT.-Whenever a qualified local noncommercial educational television station believes that a cable operator of a cable system has failed to comply with the signal carriage requirements of this section, the station may file a complaint with the Commission. Such complaint shall allege the manner in which such cable operator has failed to comply with such requirements and state the basis for such allegations.
(2) OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND.-The Commission shall afford such cable operator an opportunity to present data, views, and arguments to establish that the cable operator has complied with the signal carriage requirements of this section.
(3) REMEDIAL ACTIONS; DISMISSAL.-Within 120 days after the date a complaint is filed under this subsection, the Commission shall determine whether the cable operator has complied with the requirements of this section. If the Commission determines that the cable operator has failed to comply with such requirements, the Commission shall state with particularity the basis for such findings and order the cable operator to take such remedial action as is necessary to meet such requirements. If the Commission determines that the cable operator has fully complied with such requirements, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint.
(k) IDENTIFICATION OF SIGNALS.-A cable operator shall identify, upon request by any person, those signals carried in fulfillment of the requirements of this section.
(1) DEFINITIONS.-For purposes of this section
(1) QUALIFIED NONCOMMERCIAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION STATION.-The term "qualified noncommercial educational television station" means any television broadcast station which— (A)(i) under the rules and regulations of the Commission in effect on March 29, 1990, is licensed by the Commission as a noncommercial educational television broadcast station and which is owned and operated by a public agency, nonprofit foundation, corporation, or association; and
(ii) has as its licensee an entity which is eligible to receive a community service grant, or any successor grant thereto, from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, or any successor organization thereto, on the basis of the formula set forth in section 396(k)(6)(B); or
(B) is owned and operated by a municipality and transmits predominantly noncommercial programs for educational purposes.
Such term includes (I) the translator of any noncommercial educational television station with five watts or higher power serving the franchise area, (II) a full-service station or translator if such station or translator is licensed to a channel reserved for noncommercial educational use pursuant to section 73.606 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulations thereto, and (III) such stations and translators operating on channels not so reserved as the Commission determines are qualified as noncommercial educational stations.
(2) QUALIFIED LOCAL NONCOMMERCIAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION STATION.-The term "qualified local noncommercial educational television station" means a qualified noncommercial educational television station
(A) which is licensed to a principal community whose reference point, as defined in section 76.53 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on March 29, 1990), or any successor regulations thereto, is within 50 miles of the principal headend of the cable system; or
(B) whose Grade B service contour, as defined in section 73.683(a) of such title (as in effect on March 29, 1990), or any successor regulations thereto, encompasses the principal headend of the cable system.
SEC. 616. [47 U.S.C. 536] REGULATION OF CARRIAGE AGREEMENTS. (a) REGULATIONS.-Within one year after the date of enactment of this section, the Commission shall establish regulations governing program carriage agreements and related practices between cable operators or other multichannel video programming distributors and video programming vendors. Such regulations shall—
(1) include provisions designed to prevent a cable operator or other multichannel video programming distributor from requiring a financial interest in a program service as a condition for carriage on one or more of such operator's systems;
(2) include provisions designed to prohibit a cable operator or other multichannel video programming distributor from coercing a video programming vendor to provide, and from retali
ating against such a vendor for failing to provide, exclusive rights against other multichannel video programming distributors as a condition of carriage on a system;
(3) contain provisions designed to prevent a multichannel video programming distributor from engaging in conduct the effect of which is to unreasonably restrain the ability of an unaffiliated video programming vendor to compete fairly by discriminating in video programming distribution on the basis of affiliation or nonaffiliation of vendors in the selection, terms, or conditions for carriage of video programming provided by such vendors;
(4) provide for expedited review of any complaints made by a video programming vendor pursuant to this section;
(5) provide for appropriate penalties and remedies for violations of this subsection, including carriage; and
(6) provide penalties to be assessed against any person fil
ing a frivolous complaint pursuant to this section.
(b) DEFINITION.-As used in this section, the term "video programming vendor" means a person engaged in the production, creation, or wholesale distribution of video programming for sale. SEC. 617. [47 U.S.C. 537] SALES OF CABLE SYSTEMS.
A franchising authority shall, if the franchise requires franchising authority approval of a sale or transfer, have 120 days to act upon any request for approval of such sale or transfer that contains or is accompanied by such information as is required in accordance with Commission regulations and by the franchising authority. If the franchising authority fails to render a final decision on the request within 120 days, such request shall be deemed granted unless the requesting party and the franchising authority agree to an extension of time.
PART III-FRANCHISING AND REGULATION
SEC. 621. [47 U.S.C. 541] GENERAL FRANCHISE REQUIREMENTS.
(a)(1) A franchising authority may award, in accordance with the provisions of this title, 1 or more franchises within its jurisdiction; except that a franchising authority may not grant an exclusive franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise. Any applicant whose application for a second franchise has been denied by a final decision of the franchising authority may appeal such final decision pursuant to the provisions of section 635 for failure to comply with this subsection.
(2) Any franchise shall be construed to authorize the construction of a cable system over public rights-of-way, and through easements, which is within the area to be served by the cable system and which have been dedicated for compatible uses, except that in using such easements the cable operator shall ensure
(A) that the safety, functioning, and appearance of the property and the convenience and the safety of other persons not be adversely affected by the installation or construction of facilities necessary for a cable system;
(B) that the cost of the installation, construction, operation, or removal of such facilities be borne by the cable operator or subscriber, or a combination of both; and
(C) that the owner of the property be justly compensated by the cable operator for any damages caused by the installation, construction, operation, or removal of such facilities by the cable operator.
(3) In awarding a franchise or franchises, a franchising authority shall assure that access to cable service is not denied to any group of potential residential cable subscribers because of the income of the residents of the local area in which such group resides. (4) In awarding a franchise, the franchising authority
(A) shall allow the applicant's cable system a reasonable period of time to become capable of providing cable service to all households in the franchise area;
(B) may require adequate assurance that the cable operator will provide adequate public, educational, and governmental access channel capacity, facilities, or financial support; and
(C) may require adequate assurance that the cable operator has the financial, technical, or legal qualifications to provide cable service.
(b)(1) Except to the extent provided in paragraph (2) and subsection (f), a cable operator may not provide cable service without a franchise.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not require any person lawfully providing cable service without a franchise on July 1, 1984, to obtain a franchise unless the franchising authority so requires.
(3)(A) If a cable operator or affiliate thereof is engaged in the provision of telecommunications services
(i) such cable operator or affiliate shall not be required to obtain a franchise under this title for the provision of telecommunications services; and
(ii) the provisions of this title shall not apply to such cable operator or affiliate for the provision of telecommunications services.
(B) A franchising authority may not impose any requirement under this title that has the purpose or effect of prohibiting, limiting, restricting, or conditioning the provision of a telecommunications service by a cable operator or an affiliate thereof.
(C) A franchising authority may not order a cable operator or affiliate thereof
(i) to discontinue the provision of a telecommunications service, or
(ii) to discontinue the operation of a cable system, to the extent such cable system is used for the provision of a telecommunications service, by reason of the failure of such cable operator or affiliate thereof to obtain a franchise or franchise renewal under this title with respect to the provision of such telecommunications service.
(D) Except as otherwise permitted by sections 611 and 612, a franchising authority may not require a cable operator to provide any telecommunications service or facilities, other than institu
tional networks, as a condition of the initial grant of a franchise, a franchise renewal, or a transfer of a franchise.
(c) Any cable system shall not be subject to regulation as a common carrier or utility by reason of providing any cable service.
(d)(1) A State or the Commission may require the filing of informational tariffs for any intrastate communications service provided by a cable system, other than cable service, that would be subject to regulation by the Commission or any State if offered by a common carrier subject in whole or in part, to title II of this Act. Such informational tariffs shall specify the rates, terms, and conditions for the provision of such service, including whether it is made available to all subscribers generally, and shall take effect on the date specified therein.
(2) Nothing in this title shall be construed to affect the authority of any State to regulate any cable operator to the extent that such operator provides any communication service other than cable service, whether offered on a common carrier or private contract basis.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term "State" has the meaning given it in section 3.
(e) Nothing in this title shall be construed to affect the authority of any State to license or otherwise regulate any facility or combination of facilities which serves only subscribers in one or more multiple unit dwellings under common ownership, control, or management and which does not use any public right-of-way. (f) No provision of this Act shall be construed to
(1) prohibit a local or municipal authority that is also, or is affiliated with, a franchising authority from operating as a multichannel video programming distributor in the franchise area, notwithstanding the granting of one or more franchises by such franchising authority; or
(2) require such local or municipal authority to secure a franchise to operate as a multichannel video programming distributor.
SEC. 622. [47 U.S.C. 542] FRANCHISE FEES.
(a) Subject to the limitation of subsection (b), any cable operator may be required under the terms of any franchise to pay a franchise fee.
(b) For any twelve-month period, the franchise fees paid by a cable operator with respect to any cable system shall not exceed 5 percent of such cable operator's gross revenues derived in such period from the operation of the cable system to provide cable services. For purposes of this section, the 12-month period shall be the 12-month period applicable under the franchise for accounting purposes. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a franchising authority and a cable operator from agreeing that franchise fees which lawfully could be collected for any such 12-month period shall be paid on a prepaid or deferred basis; except that the sum of the fees paid during the term of the franchise may not exceed the amount, including the time value of money, which would have lawfully been collected if such fees had been paid per annum.
(c) Each cable operator may identify, consistent with the regulations prescribed by the Commission pursuant to section 623, as