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HF 2151

1st Unofficial Engrossment - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to utilities; changing certain 
  1.3             telecommunications provisions; providing credits for 
  1.4             incorrect directory assistance; regulating utility 
  1.5             deposits; repealing obsolete rules; regulating cable 
  1.6             franchises; providing for expanded calling areas; 
  1.7             providing for reduced rate regulation for local 
  1.8             service; providing for consumer protection for 
  1.9             wireless customers; regulating cable systems; amending 
  1.10            Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 237.01, by adding a 
  1.11            subdivision; 237.06; 238.02, subdivision 3; 238.03; 
  1.12            238.08, subdivisions 1, 3, 4, by adding a subdivision; 
  1.13            238.081; 238.083, subdivisions 2, 4; 238.084, 
  1.14            subdivision 1; 238.11, subdivision 2; 238.22, 
  1.15            subdivision 13; 238.23; 238.24, subdivisions 3, 4, 6, 
  1.16            9, 10; 238.242, subdivisions 1, 3; 238.25, 
  1.17            subdivisions 5, 10; 238.35, subdivisions 1, 4; 238.36, 
  1.18            subdivision 2; 238.39; 238.40; 238.43, subdivision 1; 
  1.19            325E.02; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
  1.20            Statutes, chapters 237; 238; 325F; repealing Minnesota 
  1.21            Statutes 2002, sections 238.01; 238.02, subdivisions 
  1.22            2, 17, 18, 19, 25; 238.082; 238.083, subdivisions 3, 
  1.23            5; 238.084, subdivisions 2, 3, 5; 238.12, subdivision 
  1.24            1a; 238.36, subdivision 1; Minnesota Rules, parts 
  1.25            7810.0100, subparts 16, 17, 18, 30, 32, 33, 39; 
  1.26            7810.0700; 7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 7810.3700; 
  1.27            7810.3800; 7810.4200; 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 7810.4600; 
  1.28            7810.4700; 7810.4800; 7810.5600; 7810.6900; 7810.8760; 
  1.29            7815.0100; 7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 7815.0500; 
  1.30            7815.0600. 
  1.32                             ARTICLE 1
  1.34     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.01, is 
  1.35  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  1.36     Subd. 8.  [LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER.] "Local exchange carrier"
  1.37  means a telephone company or telecommunications carrier 
  1.38  providing local exchange service. 
  2.1      Sec. 2.  [237.155] [CREDIT FOR INCORRECT DIRECTORY 
  2.2   ASSISTANCE.] 
  2.3      A local exchange carrier that provides directory assistance 
  2.4   to customers for a fee, either directly or by contracting with a 
  2.5   third party, must provide for an immediate credit to a customer 
  2.6   that informs the directory assistance provider that the provider 
  2.7   has given the customer incorrect information for which the 
  2.8   provider charged the customer a fee.  A local exchange carrier 
  2.9   must notify its customers of the right to the immediate credit 
  2.10  for incorrect directory assistance.  The notice must be in a 
  2.12  ASSISTANCE CREDIT."  The notice must be given to a new customer 
  2.13  within 45 days of commencing service and at least annually 
  2.14  thereafter and the notification print must be of sufficient size 
  2.15  to be clearly legible. 
  2.16                             ARTICLE 2
  2.17                          UTILITY DEPOSITS
  2.18     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.06, is 
  2.19  amended to read: 
  2.21     It shall be the duty of every telephone company to furnish 
  2.22  reasonably adequate service and facilities for the accommodation 
  2.23  of the public, and its rates, tolls, and charges shall be fair 
  2.24  and reasonable for the intrastate use thereof.  All unreasonable 
  2.25  rates, tolls, and charges are hereby declared to be unlawful.  
  2.26  Any telephone company organized after January 1, 1949, may 
  2.27  include in its charges a reasonable deposit fee not exceeding 
  2.28  $50 for facilities furnished.  
  2.29     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 325E.02, is 
  2.30  amended to read: 
  2.31     325E.02 [CUSTOMER DEPOSITS.] 
  2.32     Any customer deposit required before commencement of 
  2.33  service by a privately or publicly owned water, gas, telephone, 
  2.34  cable television, electric light, heat, or power company shall 
  2.35  be subject to the following: 
  2.36     (a) Upon termination of service with all bills paid, the 
  3.1   deposit shall be returned to the customer within 45 days, less 
  3.2   any deductions made in accordance with paragraph (c).  
  3.3      (b) Interest shall be paid on deposits in excess of $20 at 
  3.4   the rate of not less than three percent per year.  The rate of 
  3.5   interest must be set annually and be equal to the weekly average 
  3.6   yield of one-year United States Treasury securities adjusted for 
  3.7   constant maturity for the last full week in November.  The 
  3.8   interest rate must be rounded to the nearest tenth of one 
  3.9   percent.  By December 15 of each year, the commissioner of 
  3.10  commerce shall announce the rate of interest that must be paid 
  3.11  on all deposits held during all or part of the subsequent year.  
  3.12  The company may, at its option, pay the interest at intervals it 
  3.13  chooses but at least annually, by direct payment, or as a credit 
  3.14  on bills.  
  3.15     (c) At the time the deposit is made the company shall 
  3.16  furnish the customer with a written receipt specifying the 
  3.17  conditions, if any, the deposit will be diminished upon return.  
  3.18     (d) Advance payments or prepayments shall not be construed 
  3.19  as being a deposit.  
  3.20     Sec. 3.  [RULES OR ORDERS SUPERSEDED.] 
  3.21     The interest rate set in section 2 supersedes any rate set 
  3.22  in rule or by administrative order. 
  3.23     Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
  3.24     Section 2 applies to interest paid on deposits held as of 
  3.25  January 1, 2005, and thereafter. 
  3.26                             ARTICLE 3
  3.27                      OBSOLETE RULES REPEALER
  3.28     Section 1.  [REPEALER.] 
  3.29     Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.0100, subparts 16, 17, 18, 30, 
  3.30  32, 33, and 39; 7810.0700; 7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 
  3.31  7810.3700; 7810.3800; 7810.4200; 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 
  3.32  7810.4600; 7810.4700; 7810.4800; 7810.5600; 7810.6900; 
  3.33  7810.8760; 7815.0100; 7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 
  3.34  7815.0500; and 7815.0600, are repealed. 
  3.35                             ARTICLE 4
  3.36                     ADDITIONAL CABLE FRANCHISE
  4.1      Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 
  4.2   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  4.3      Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENT; CONDITIONS.] (a) A 
  4.4   municipality or its franchise authority shall require a 
  4.5   franchise or extension permit of any cable communications system 
  4.6   providing service within the municipality.  
  4.7      (b) No municipality shall grant an additional franchise for 
  4.8   cable service for an area included in an existing franchise on 
  4.9   terms and conditions more favorable or less burdensome than 
  4.10  those in the existing franchise pertaining to:  (1) the area 
  4.11  served; (2) public, educational, or governmental access 
  4.12  requirements; or (3) franchise fees.  The provisions of this 
  4.13  paragraph shall not apply when the area in which the additional 
  4.14  franchise is being sought is not actually being served by any 
  4.15  existing cable communications company holding a franchise for 
  4.16  the area.  Nothing in this paragraph prevents a municipality 
  4.17  from imposing additional terms and conditions on any additional 
  4.18  franchises.  The grant of an additional franchise may include an 
  4.19  area for cable service similar to that in an existing franchise 
  4.20  or another area that the municipality or its franchise authority 
  4.21  determines is necessary or desirable to reasonably meet the 
  4.22  needs of the municipality or its franchise authority.  
  4.23  Additional franchises must be granted or rejected by a 
  4.24  municipality within 180 days of the notice of application being 
  4.25  published in a newspaper of general circulation unless the date 
  4.26  is extended by mutual agreement of the additional franchise 
  4.27  provider and municipality. 
  4.28     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, is 
  4.29  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  4.31  ACCESS CHANNELS.] (a) An additional franchise must ensure that 
  4.32  all subscribers receive local public, educational, and 
  4.33  governmental access channels within the additional franchise 
  4.34  provider's franchise area. 
  4.35     (b) An additional franchise must ensure that all 
  4.36  subscribers receive local public, educational, and governmental 
  5.1   access channels and local origination channels as specified in 
  5.2   the existing franchise, and on channels designated within the 
  5.3   existing franchise or actually used for the delivery of public, 
  5.4   educational, and governmental access and local origination.  An 
  5.5   additional franchise provider must not be required to provide 
  5.6   any public, educational, and governmental access or local 
  5.7   origination channels not specified in an existing franchise or 
  5.8   in actual use for those purposes. 
  5.9      (c) An existing franchise provider must be required to 
  5.10  permit an additional franchise provider to connect with its 
  5.11  local public, educational, and governmental access and local 
  5.12  origination channel feeds and provide an additional franchise 
  5.13  provider with the programming on those channels.  An additional 
  5.14  franchise provider and the existing franchise provider may 
  5.15  decide how to accomplish this connection, taking into 
  5.16  consideration the exact physical and technical circumstances of 
  5.17  the systems involved.  An agreement must be negotiated between 
  5.18  the additional franchise provider and the existing franchise 
  5.19  provider specifying these requirements. 
  5.20     The additional franchise provider may proceed with 
  5.21  providing its services before public, educational, and 
  5.22  governmental access negotiations are completed.  If the 
  5.23  additional franchise provider and existing franchise provider 
  5.24  cannot agree on how to accomplish this within three months from 
  5.25  the effective date of the granting of the additional franchise, 
  5.26  the municipality or its franchising authority may adopt a 
  5.27  resolution specifying these requirements.  The costs of 
  5.28  connection to the existing franchise provider's public, 
  5.29  educational, and governmental access channel feed must be borne 
  5.30  by the additional franchise provider.  The municipality or its 
  5.31  franchise authority may require that the connection occur on 
  5.32  government property or on public rights-of-way. 
  5.33     (d) An additional franchise provider shall make financial 
  5.34  contributions that are equivalent annually, on a per customer 
  5.35  basis, to the public, educational, and governmental access 
  5.36  services, facilities, and equipment provided or made available 
  6.1   by the existing franchise provider. 
  6.2      (e) For in-kind contributions, such as cameras and 
  6.3   production studios, an additional franchise provider may satisfy 
  6.4   its requirements by negotiating mutually agreeable terms with 
  6.5   the existing franchise provider and the municipality or its 
  6.6   franchise authority so that public, educational, and 
  6.7   governmental access and local origination services to the 
  6.8   community are improved or increased. 
  6.9      (f) An additional franchise provider must adjust its 
  6.10  systems to comply with new public, educational, and governmental 
  6.11  access and local origination obligations imposed by a cable 
  6.12  franchise renewal.  The additional franchise provider must not, 
  6.13  however, be required to displace other programmers using its 
  6.14  system to accommodate public, educational, and governmental 
  6.15  access and local origination channels.  The additional franchise 
  6.16  provider must comply with the public, educational, and 
  6.17  governmental access and local origination obligations whenever 
  6.18  additional capacity is or becomes available, whether it is due 
  6.19  to increased channel capacity or decreased demand for channel 
  6.20  capacity. 
  6.21     (g) A municipality or its franchising authority may not 
  6.22  impose public, educational, and governmental access or local 
  6.23  origination obligations on the additional franchise provider 
  6.24  that would exceed those imposed on the existing franchise 
  6.25  provider. 
  6.26     Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
  6.27     This article is effective the day following final enactment.
  6.28                             ARTICLE 5 
  6.30     Section 1.  [237.414] [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS; TRANSPORT 
  6.32     Subdivision 1.  [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS.] (a) In addition 
  6.33  to any existing authority applicable to telephone companies, a 
  6.34  telephone company may expand the area to which it can provide 
  6.35  calling to its customers upon filing with the commission any 
  6.36  agreements between the telephone company and other telephone 
  7.1   companies and telecommunications carriers entered into under 
  7.2   subdivision 3.  Calling to these expanded areas must be optional 
  7.3   to customers and must be in addition to the customers' existing 
  7.4   local service and any extended area service.  Subject to 
  7.5   sections 237.06 and 237.09, the telephone company may determine 
  7.6   the quantity of expanded calling to provide, the prices for that 
  7.7   calling, and whether to offer calling alone or in combination 
  7.8   with one or more other telephone or unregulated services. 
  7.9      (b) Prices for expanded calling service or for bundles of 
  7.10  services that include expanded calling must exceed the variable 
  7.11  cost of the expanded calling service or bundles of services, 
  7.12  determined on an aggregate basis.  A telephone company is not 
  7.13  required to file cost information before implementing its prices 
  7.14  and is not required to file cost information except on request 
  7.15  of the department, Office of the Attorney General, or 
  7.16  commission.  Customers must be notified of local service options 
  7.17  and prices, including options that do not include expanded 
  7.18  calling, as required under section 237.66.  The telephone 
  7.19  company shall clearly identify the distinction between the 
  7.20  expanded calling area and the basic local calling area to 
  7.21  customers.  The telephone company is not required to offer 
  7.22  unlimited flat-rate calling to these expanded calling areas.  
  7.23  The telephone company shall file tariffs setting forth the 
  7.24  expanded calling area along with the applicable prices and 
  7.25  quantities of calling. 
  7.26     (c) A rate increase or a substantial change in terms and 
  7.27  conditions of the expanded calling service may be effective 30 
  7.28  days after filing with the commission and 30 days after 
  7.29  providing written notice to affected customers.  Rate decreases 
  7.30  may be effective immediately upon filing.  Minor changes to 
  7.31  terms and conditions may be effective immediately upon filing 
  7.32  and upon notice to the customers.  This section does not apply 
  7.33  to extended area service or to calling areas previously or 
  7.34  hereafter established by order of the commission.  This section 
  7.35  does not limit the existing rights and obligations of telephone 
  7.36  companies and telecommunications carriers to provide local 
  8.1   calling, including the obligation to offer unlimited flat rate 
  8.2   calling in the basic local calling area or expanded calling area.
  8.4   telephone company may construct, purchase, lease, or rent 
  8.5   transport and switching facilities between its existing local 
  8.6   area and the expanded calling area that are needed to provide 
  8.7   the expanded calling.  If the telephone company is unable to 
  8.8   reach agreement with other telephone companies or 
  8.9   telecommunications carriers, the company or carrier may petition 
  8.10  the commission under section 237.12 to resolve issues regarding 
  8.11  prices, terms, and conditions for use of any transport 
  8.12  facilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the 
  8.13  commission. 
  8.15  telephone company providing an expanded calling area under this 
  8.16  section may enter into an agreement to terminate calls with 
  8.17  telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 
  8.18  service within the expanded calling area.  Compensation to the 
  8.19  telephone company or telecommunications carrier to terminate 
  8.20  expanded calling into such areas must be the intrastate access 
  8.21  charges of the telephone company or telecommunications carrier 
  8.22  terminating the call or other rates agreed upon by the companies.
  8.23     (b) Two telephone companies that provide expanded calling 
  8.24  between their respective areas may also enter into "bill and 
  8.25  keep" arrangements for exchange of the expanded calling area 
  8.26  traffic. 
  8.27     (c) The telephone company shall file with the commission 
  8.28  any agreements for termination of calling by telephone companies 
  8.29  and telecommunications carriers providing service within the 
  8.30  expanded calling area.  The prices, terms, and conditions 
  8.31  contained in the agreements required to be filed shall be 
  8.32  publicly disclosed in their entirety, and other terminating 
  8.33  carriers may elect to adopt those prices, terms, and conditions 
  8.34  in whole or in part for technically similar services provided in 
  8.35  the exchanges included in the agreement.  
  9.1   SERVICE.] Except for calling areas that result from a prior or 
  9.2   subsequent order of the commission, a telephone company may 
  9.3   amend or terminate the expanded calling area service upon 30 
  9.4   days' written notice to customers, the commission, and other 
  9.5   telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 
  9.6   local service in the expanded area.  The notice to customers of 
  9.7   an amendment to the expanded calling area or termination of an 
  9.8   expanded calling area must be sent separately from other 
  9.9   mailings and clearly explain how the expanded calling area is 
  9.10  being changed.  The notice to customers of an amendment must 
  9.11  also clearly identify that calls to areas outside of the 
  9.12  expanded calling area will be long distance calls billed at the 
  9.13  applicable rate of the customer's long distance carrier.  The 
  9.14  notice to customers of a termination must clearly identify that 
  9.15  calls to the terminated expanded calling area will become long 
  9.16  distance calls billed at the applicable rate of the customer's 
  9.17  long distance carrier. 
  9.18     Sec. 2.  [237.43] [ANNUAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNDING 
  9.20     In determining whether to provide the annual certification 
  9.21  of any eligible telecommunications carrier for continued receipt 
  9.22  of federal universal service funding, the commission shall apply 
  9.23  the same standards and criteria to all eligible 
  9.24  telecommunications carriers. 
  9.25                             ARTICLE 6
  9.26                    WIRELESS CONSUMER PROTECTION
  9.27     Section 1.  [325F.695] [CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR WIRELESS 
  9.28  CUSTOMERS.] 
  9.29     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] The definitions in this 
  9.30  subdivision apply to this section. 
  9.31     (a) "Contract" means an oral or written agreement of 
  9.32  definite duration between a provider and a customer, detailing 
  9.33  the wireless telecommunications services to be provided to the 
  9.34  customer and the terms and conditions for provision of those 
  9.35  services. 
  9.36     (b) "Wireless telecommunications services" means commercial 
 10.1   mobile radio services as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, 
 10.2   title 47, part 20. 
 10.3      (c) "Provider" means a provider of wireless 
 10.4   telecommunications services. 
 10.5      (d) "Substantive change" means a modification to, or 
 10.6   addition or deletion of, a term or condition in a contract that 
 10.7   could result in an increase in the charge to the customer under 
 10.8   that contract or that could result in an extension of the term 
 10.9   of that contract.  "Substantive change" includes a modification 
 10.10  in the provider's administration of an existing contract term or 
 10.11  condition.  A price increase that includes only the actual 
 10.12  amount of any increase in taxes or fees, which the government 
 10.13  requires the provider to impose upon the customer, is not a 
 10.14  substantive change for purposes of this section. 
 10.15     Subd. 2.  [COPY OF CONTRACT.] A provider must provide each 
 10.16  customer with a written copy of the customer's contract between 
 10.17  the provider and the customer within 15 days of the date the 
 10.18  contract is entered into.  The provider may meet the requirement 
 10.19  to provide a written copy of the contract by providing an 
 10.20  electronic copy of the contract at the customer's request.  A 
 10.21  provider must maintain verification that the customer accepted 
 10.22  the terms of the contract for the duration of the contract 
 10.23  period.  
 10.25  provider must notify the customer in writing of any proposed 
 10.26  substantive change in the contract between the provider and the 
 10.27  customer 60 days before the change is proposed to take effect. 
 10.28  The change only becomes effective if the customer opts in to the 
 10.29  change by affirmatively accepting the change in writing prior to 
 10.30  the proposed effective date.  If the customer does not 
 10.31  affirmatively opt in to accept the proposed substantive change, 
 10.32  then the original contract terms shall apply. 
 10.33     Subd. 4.  [CUSTOMER-INITIATED CHANGE.] If the customer 
 10.34  proposes to the provider any change in the terms of an existing 
 10.35  contract, the provider must clearly disclose to the customer 
 10.36  orally or electronically any change to the existing contract 
 11.1   terms that would result from the customer's proposed change, 
 11.2   including, but not limited to, contract duration and price.  The 
 11.3   customer's proposed change is only effective if the provider 
 11.4   agrees to the proposed change and the customer agrees to any 
 11.5   resulting changes in the contract.  The provider must maintain 
 11.6   recorded or electronic verification of the disclosure. 
 11.7      Sec. 2.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
 11.8      Section 1 is effective on July 1, 2004, and applies to 
 11.9   contracts for wireless service entered into on or after May 1, 
 11.10  2004. 
 11.11                             ARTICLE 7
 11.12                      REDUCED RATE REGULATION
 11.13     Section 1.  [237.411] [REDUCED RATE REGULATION FOR CERTAIN 
 11.15     Subdivision 1.  [BUSINESS CUSTOMER; DEFINED.] For the 
 11.16  purpose of this section, "business customer" means a customer 
 11.17  subscribing to four or more business lines.  
 11.18     Subd. 2.  [COMPETITIVE AREA; DEFINED.] A "competitive area" 
 11.19  is an exchange located: 
 11.20     (1) in the metropolitan area extended area service 
 11.21  toll-free calling area; 
 11.22     (2) in a city of the first class; or 
 11.23     (3) in an area declared competitive by the commission 
 11.24  pursuant to subdivision 3.  
 11.25     Subd. 3.  [COMPETITIVE AREA DESIGNATION.] The commission 
 11.26  must designate that an exchange is located in a competitive area 
 11.27  if, upon petition by a telephone company or telecommunications 
 11.28  carrier providing local service in that exchange, the commission 
 11.29  finds that the petitioning company or carrier has lost twenty 
 11.30  percent or more of its business access lines in that exchange to 
 11.31  at least two different competitors, including unregulated 
 11.32  service providers.  
 11.33     Subd. 4.  [REDUCED RATE REGULATION.] The rates, prices, 
 11.34  tariffs, or charges to a business customer in a competitive area 
 11.35  by a telephone company or a telecommunications carrier offering 
 11.36  local service are only subject to sections 237.07, subdivision 
 12.1   1; 237.66; and 237.663, and are not subject to any rules 
 12.2   imposing rate or price restrictions beyond those sections or to 
 12.3   other order or investigation of local rates under section 
 12.4   237.081.  
 12.6   subdivision applies to prices governed by subdivision 4.  A 
 12.7   telephone company must not price its local telephone services, 
 12.8   whether offered singly or as part of a bundle of services, below 
 12.9   the total service long-run incremental cost of providing the 
 12.10  service or services.  
 12.11     Subd. 6.  [ENFORCEMENT.] The powers and duties granted to 
 12.12  the commission by section 237.081 apply to violations or 
 12.13  suspected violations of this section.  A person aggrieved by a 
 12.14  violation of this section may file a complaint as provided in 
 12.15  section 237.081, which shall be treated as any other complaint 
 12.16  filed under that section.  The commissioner of commerce may 
 12.17  investigate violations or alleged violations of this section.  
 12.19     (a) By January 15, 2005, the Public Utilities Commission 
 12.20  must develop, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney 
 12.21  General and the Department of Commerce, a means for resolution 
 12.22  of small consumer complaints with a monetary reimbursement 
 12.23  component.  
 12.24     (b) By January 15, 2005, the Public Utilities Commission 
 12.25  must develop and recommend to the legislature a plan for 
 12.26  increasing the number of plans offering flat-rate statewide 
 12.27  calling, making them available to all customers in Minnesota, 
 12.28  and addressing methods of reducing the cost of such plans. 
 12.29                             ARTICLE 8 
 12.30                        CABLE SYSTEM CHANGES 
 12.31     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.02, 
 12.32  subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
 12.33     Subd. 3.  [CABLE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM.] (a) "Cable 
 12.34  communications system" means a system which operates that (1) 
 12.35  provides the service of receiving and amplifying (i) programs 
 12.36  broadcast by one or more television or radio stations and (ii) 
 13.1   other programs originated by a person operating a cable 
 13.2   communications company system or by another party, and 
 13.3   distributing person, and (2) distributes those programs by wire, 
 13.4   cable, microwave, or other means, regardless of whether the 
 13.5   means are owned or leased, to persons who subscribe to the 
 13.6   service.  
 13.7      (b) This definition does not include: 
 13.8      (a) (1) a system which that serves fewer than 50 
 13.9   subscribers or a system which that serves more than 50 but fewer 
 13.10  than 1,000 subscribers if the governing bodies of all political 
 13.11  subdivisions served by the system, vote, by resolution, to 
 13.12  remove the system from the provisions of this chapter.; provided 
 13.13  that: 
 13.14     (i) no part of a system, nor any area within the 
 13.15  municipality served by the system, may be removed from the 
 13.16  provisions of this chapter if more than 1,000 subscribers are 
 13.17  served by the system.; and 
 13.18     (ii) any system which serves serving more than 50 but fewer 
 13.19  than 1,000 subscribers that has been removed from the provisions 
 13.20  of this chapter shall be returned becomes subject to the 
 13.21  provisions of this chapter if the governing bodies of 50 percent 
 13.22  or more of the political subdivisions served by the system vote, 
 13.23  by resolution, in favor of the return; 
 13.24     (b) (2) a master antenna television system; 
 13.25     (c) (3) a specialized closed-circuit system which that does 
 13.26  not use the public rights-of-way for the construction of its 
 13.27  physical plant; and 
 13.28     (d) (4) a translator system which that receives and 
 13.29  rebroadcasts over-the-air signals.  
 13.30     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.03, is 
 13.31  amended to read: 
 13.32     238.03 [APPLICABILITY.] 
 13.33     This chapter applies to every cable communications system 
 13.34  and every cable communications company, as defined in section 
 13.35  238.02, operating within the state, including a cable 
 13.36  communications company which constructs, operates and maintains 
 14.1   a cable communications system comprised in whole or in part 
 14.2   through the of facilities of a person franchised to offer common 
 14.3   or contract carrier services subject to regulation under chapter 
 14.4   237.  Persons possessing franchises for any of the purposes of 
 14.5   this chapter are subject to this chapter although no property 
 14.6   has been acquired, business transacted, or franchises exercised. 
 14.7      Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 
 14.8   subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
 14.9      Subd. 3.  [MUNICIPAL OPERATION.] Nothing in this chapter 
 14.10  shall be construed to limit Unless otherwise prohibited by 
 14.11  applicable law, any municipality from the right to may 
 14.12  construct, purchase, and operate cable communications systems, 
 14.13  or, to operate facilities and channels for community television, 
 14.14  including, but not limited to, public, educational, and 
 14.15  governmental access and local origination programming.  Any 
 14.16  municipal system, including the operation of community 
 14.17  television by a municipality, shall be is subject to this 
 14.18  chapter to the same extent as would any nonpublic cable 
 14.19  communications system. 
 14.20     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 
 14.21  subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
 14.22     Subd. 4.  [FEE, TAX, OR CHARGE.] Nothing in this chapter 
 14.23  shall be construed to limit the power of any municipality to 
 14.24  impose upon any person operating a cable communications company 
 14.25  system a fee, tax, or charge. 
 14.26     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.081, is 
 14.27  amended to read: 
 14.28     238.081 [FRANCHISE PROCEDURE.] 
 14.29     Subdivision 1.  [PUBLICATION OF NOTICE.] The franchising 
 14.30  authority shall have published once each week for two successive 
 14.31  weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in each municipality 
 14.32  within the cable service territory, a notice of intent 
 14.33  to consider an application for a franchise, requesting 
 14.34  applications for the franchise other than a franchise renewal 
 14.35  pursuant to the United States Code, title 47, section 546.  
 14.36     Subd. 2.  [REQUIRED INFORMATION IN NOTICE.] The notice must 
 15.1   include at least the following information:  
 15.2      (1) the name of the municipality making the request; 
 15.3      (2) the closing date for submission of applications; 
 15.4      (3) a statement of the application fee, if any, and the 
 15.5   method for its submission; 
 15.6      (4) a statement by the franchising authority of the desired 
 15.7   system design and services to be offered; 
 15.8      (5) a statement by the franchising authority of criteria 
 15.9   and priorities against which the applicants for the franchise 
 15.10  must be evaluated; 
 15.11     (6) a statement that applications for the franchise must 
 15.12  contain at least the information required by subdivision 4; 
 15.13     (7) the date, time, and place for the public hearing, to 
 15.14  hear proposals from franchise applicants; and 
 15.15     (8) the name, address, and telephone number of the 
 15.16  individuals who may be contacted for further information.  
 15.17     Subd. 3.  [OTHER RECIPIENTS OF NOTICE.] In addition to the 
 15.18  published notice, the franchising authority shall mail copies of 
 15.19  the notice of intent to franchise to any person it has 
 15.20  identified as being a potential candidate for the franchise.  
 15.21     Subd. 4.  [CONTENTS OF FRANCHISING PROPOSAL.] (a) The 
 15.22  franchising authority shall require that proposals for a cable 
 15.23  communications franchise be notarized and contain, but not 
 15.24  necessarily be limited to, the following information: 
 15.25     (1) plans for channel capacity, including both the total 
 15.26  number of channels capable of being energized in the system and 
 15.27  the number of channels to be energized immediately; 
 15.28     (2) a statement of the television and radio broadcast 
 15.29  signals for which permission to carry will be requested from the 
 15.30  Federal Communications Commission; 
 15.31     (3) a description of the proposed system design and planned 
 15.32  operation, including at least the following items: 
 15.33     (i) the general area for location of antennae and the head 
 15.34  end, if known; 
 15.35     (ii) the schedule for activating two-way capacity; 
 15.36     (iii) the type of automated services to be provided; 
 16.1      (iv) the number of channels and services to be made 
 16.2   available for access cable broadcasting; and 
 16.3      (v) a schedule of charges for facilities and staff 
 16.4   assistance for access cable broadcasting; 
 16.5      (4) the terms and conditions under which particular service 
 16.6   is to be provided to governmental and educational entities; 
 16.7      (5) a schedule of proposed rates in relation to the 
 16.8   services to be provided, and a proposed policy regarding unusual 
 16.9   or difficult connection of services; 
 16.10     (6) a time schedule for construction of the entire system 
 16.11  with the time sequence for wiring the various parts of the area 
 16.12  requested to be served in the request for proposals; 
 16.13     (7) a statement indicating the applicant's qualifications 
 16.14  and experience in the cable communications field, if any; 
 16.15     (8) an identification of the municipalities in which the 
 16.16  applicant either owns or operates a cable communications system, 
 16.17  directly or indirectly, or has outstanding franchises for which 
 16.18  no system has been built; 
 16.19     (9) plans for financing the proposed system, which must 
 16.20  indicate every significant anticipated source of capital and 
 16.21  significant limitations or conditions with respect to the 
 16.22  availability of the indicated sources of capital; 
 16.23     (10) a statement of ownership detailing the corporate 
 16.24  organization of the applicant, if any, including the names and 
 16.25  addresses of officers and directors and the number of shares 
 16.26  held by each officer or director, and intracompany relationship 
 16.27  including a parent, subsidiary, or affiliated company; and 
 16.28     (11) a notation and explanation of omissions or other 
 16.29  variations with respect to the requirements of the proposal. 
 16.30     (b) Substantive amendments may not be made in a proposal 
 16.31  after a proposal has been submitted to the franchising authority 
 16.32  and before award of a franchise Upon submission of a proposal, 
 16.33  the municipality and applicant may negotiate franchise terms.  
 16.34     Subd. 5.  [TIME LIMIT TO SUBMIT APPLICATION.] The 
 16.35  franchising authority shall allow at least 20 days from the 
 16.36  first date of published notice to the closing date for 
 17.1   submitting applications.  
 17.2      Subd. 6.  [PUBLIC HEARING ON FRANCHISE.] A public hearing 
 17.3   before the franchising authority affording reasonable notice and 
 17.4   a reasonable opportunity to be heard with respect to all 
 17.5   applications for the franchise must be completed at least seven 
 17.6   days before the introduction of the adoption of a franchise 
 17.7   ordinance in the proceedings of the franchising authority.  
 17.8      Subd. 7.  [AWARD OF FRANCHISE.] Franchises may be 
 17.9   awarded only by ordinance or other official action by the 
 17.10  franchising authority.  
 17.11     Subd. 8.  [COSTS OF AWARDING FRANCHISE.] Nothing in this 
 17.12  section prohibits a franchising authority from recovering from a 
 17.13  successful an applicant the entire reasonable and necessary 
 17.14  costs of the entire process of awarding the processing a cable 
 17.15  communications franchise.  
 17.17  SYSTEM.] Nothing contained in this section prohibits a 
 17.18  franchising authority from franchising a nonprofit or 
 17.19  municipally owned system.  The municipality or nonprofit entity 
 17.20  is considered an applicant for purposes of this section.  
 17.21     Subd. 10.  [FRANCHISE; JOINT POWERS.] In the cases of 
 17.22  municipalities acting in concert, the municipalities may 
 17.23  delegate to another entity such any duties, responsibilities, 
 17.24  privileges, or activities described in this section, if such the 
 17.25  delegation is proper according to state and local law.  
 17.26     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 
 17.27  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 17.29  sale or transfer of a franchise, including a sale or transfer by 
 17.30  means of a fundamental corporate change, requires the written 
 17.31  approval of the franchising authority.  The parties to the sale 
 17.32  or transfer of a franchise shall make a written request to the 
 17.33  franchising authority for its approval of the sale or transfer.  
 17.34  The franchising authority shall reply in writing within 30 days 
 17.35  of the request and shall indicate its approval of the request or 
 17.36  its determination that a public hearing is necessary if it 
 18.1   determines that a sale or transfer of a franchise may adversely 
 18.2   affect the company's subscribers.  The franchising authority 
 18.3   shall conduct a public hearing on the request within 30 days of 
 18.4   that determination.  
 18.5      Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 
 18.6   subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
 18.7      Subd. 4.  [APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF TRANSFER REQUEST.] Within 
 18.8   30 days after the public hearing, The franchising authority 
 18.9   shall approve or deny in writing the sale or transfer request.  
 18.10  The approval must not be unreasonably withheld. 
 18.11     Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.084, 
 18.12  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
 18.13     Subdivision 1.  [ALL SYSTEMS.] The following requirements 
 18.14  apply to all classes A, B, and C cable communications systems 
 18.15  unless provided otherwise: 
 18.16     (a) a provision that the franchise complies shall comply 
 18.17  with the Minnesota franchise standards contained in this 
 18.18  section; 
 18.19     (b) a provision requiring the franchisee and the 
 18.20  franchising authority to conform to state laws and rules 
 18.21  regarding cable communications not later than one year after 
 18.22  they become effective, unless otherwise stated, and to conform 
 18.23  to federal laws and regulations regarding cable as they become 
 18.24  effective; 
 18.25     (c) a provision limiting the initial and renewal franchise 
 18.26  term to not more than 15 years each; 
 18.27     (d) a provision specifying that the franchise is must be 
 18.28  nonexclusive; 
 18.29     (e) a provision prohibiting sale or transfer of the 
 18.30  franchise or sale or transfer of stock so as to create a new 
 18.31  controlling interest under section 238.083, except at the 
 18.32  approval of the franchising authority, which approval must not 
 18.33  be unreasonably withheld, and conditioned that the sale or 
 18.34  transfer is completed pursuant to section 238.083; 
 18.35     (f) a provision granting the franchising authority 
 18.36  collecting a franchise fee the authority to audit the 
 19.1   franchisee's accounting and financial records upon reasonable 
 19.2   notice, and requiring that the franchisee file with the 
 19.3   franchising authority annually reports of gross subscriber 
 19.4   revenues and other information as the franchising authority 
 19.5   deems appropriate; 
 19.6      (g) provisions specifying: 
 19.7      (1) current subscriber charges or that the current charges 
 19.8   are available for public inspection in the municipality; 
 19.9      (2) the length and terms of residential subscriber 
 19.10  contracts, if they exist, or that the current length and terms 
 19.11  of residential subscriber contracts are available for public 
 19.12  inspection in the municipality; and 
 19.13     (3) the procedure by which subscriber charges are 
 19.14  established, unless such a provision is contrary to state or 
 19.15  federal law; 
 19.16     (h) a provision indicating by title the office or officer 
 19.17  of the franchising authority that is responsible for the 
 19.18  continuing administration of the franchise; 
 19.19     (i) a provision requiring the franchisee to indemnify and 
 19.20  hold harmless the franchising authority during the term of the 
 19.21  franchise, and to maintain throughout the term of the franchise, 
 19.22  liability insurance in an amount as the franchising authority 
 19.23  may require insuring both the franchising authority and the 
 19.24  franchisee with regard to damages and penalties which that they 
 19.25  may legally be required to pay as a result of the exercise of 
 19.26  the franchise; 
 19.27     (j) a provision that at the time the franchise becomes 
 19.28  effective and thereafter until the franchisee has liquidated all 
 19.29  of its obligation with the franchising authority, the franchisee 
 19.30  shall furnish a performance bond, certificate of deposit, or 
 19.31  other type of instrument approved by the franchising authority 
 19.32  in an amount as the franchising authority deems to be adequate 
 19.33  compensation for damages resulting from the franchisee's 
 19.34  nonperformance.  The franchising authority may, from year to 
 19.35  year and in its sole discretion, reduce the amount of the 
 19.36  performance bond or instrument; 
 20.1      (k) a provision that nothing contained in the franchise 
 20.2   relieves a person from liability arising out of the failure to 
 20.3   exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring the franchisee's 
 20.4   facilities while performing work connected with grading, 
 20.5   regrading, or changing the line of a street or public place or 
 20.6   with the construction or reconstruction of a sewer or water 
 20.7   system; 
 20.8      (l) a provision that the franchisee's technical ability, 
 20.9   financial condition, and legal qualification were considered and 
 20.10  approved by the franchising authority in a full public 
 20.11  proceeding that afforded reasonable notice and a reasonable 
 20.12  opportunity to be heard; 
 20.13     (m) a provision requiring the construction of a cable 
 20.14  system with a channel capacity available for immediate or 
 20.15  potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of bandwidth, the 
 20.16  equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels.  For purposes of 
 20.17  this section, a cable system with a channel capacity, available 
 20.18  for immediate or potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of 
 20.19  bandwidth means:  the provision of a distribution system 
 20.20  designed and constructed so that a minimum of 72 MHz of 
 20.21  bandwidth, the equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels, 
 20.22  can be put into use with only the addition of the appropriate 
 20.23  headend equipment; 
 20.24     (n) a provision in initial franchises that there be a full 
 20.25  description of the system proposed for construction identifying 
 20.26  the system capacity and technical design and a schedule showing: 
 20.27     (1) that for franchise areas which will be served by a 
 20.28  system proposed to have fewer than 100 plant miles of cable: 
 20.29     (i) that within 90 days of the granting of the franchise, 
 20.30  the franchisee shall apply for the necessary governmental 
 20.31  permits, licenses, certificates, and authorizations; 
 20.32     (ii) that energized trunk cable must be extended 
 20.33  substantially throughout the authorized area within one year 
 20.34  after receipt of the necessary governmental permits, licenses, 
 20.35  certificates, and authorizations and that persons along the 
 20.36  route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" as 
 21.1   desired during the same period of time; and 
 21.2      (iii) that the requirement of this section may be waived by 
 21.3   the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen 
 21.4   events or acts of God construction of the cable communications 
 21.5   system must commence no later than 240 days after the granting 
 21.6   of the franchise; or 
 21.7      (2) that for franchise areas which will be served by a 
 21.8   system proposed to have 100 plant miles of cable or more, a 
 21.9   provision: construction of the cable communications system must 
 21.10  proceed at a reasonable rate of not less than 50 plant miles 
 21.11  constructed per year of the franchise term; 
 21.12     (i) (3) that within 90 days of the granting of the 
 21.13  franchise, the franchisee shall apply for the necessary 
 21.14  governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and 
 21.15  authorizations; 
 21.16     (ii) that engineering and design must be completed within 
 21.17  one year after the granting of the franchise and that a 
 21.18  significant amount of construction must be completed within one 
 21.19  year after the franchisee's receipt of the necessary 
 21.20  governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and 
 21.21  authorizations; 
 21.22     (iii) that energized trunk cable must be extended 
 21.23  substantially throughout the authorized area within five years 
 21.24  after commencement of construction and that persons along the 
 21.25  route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" within 
 21.26  the same period of time, if desired construction throughout the 
 21.27  authorized franchise area must be substantially completed within 
 21.28  five years of the granting of the franchise; and 
 21.29     (iv) (4) that the requirement of this section be waived by 
 21.30  the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen 
 21.31  events or acts of God; 
 21.32     (o) (n) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
 21.33  a provision that the franchisee shall obtain a permit from the 
 21.34  proper municipal authority before commencing construction of a 
 21.35  cable communications system, including the opening or 
 21.36  disturbance of a street, sidewalk, driveway, or public place. 
 22.1   The provision must specify remedies available to the franchising 
 22.2   authority in cases where the franchisee fails to meet the 
 22.3   conditions of the permit; 
 22.4      (p) (o) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
 22.5   a provision that wires, conduits, cable, and other property and 
 22.6   facilities of the franchisee be located, constructed, installed, 
 22.7   and maintained in compliance with applicable codes.  The 
 22.8   provision must also specify that the franchisee keep and 
 22.9   maintain its property so as not to unnecessarily interfere with 
 22.10  the usual and customary trade, traffic, or travel upon the 
 22.11  streets and public places of the franchise area or endanger the 
 22.12  life or property of any person; 
 22.13     (q) (p) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
 22.14  a provision that the franchising authority and the franchisee 
 22.15  shall establish a procedure in the franchise for the relocation 
 22.16  or removal of the franchisee's wires, conduits, cables, and 
 22.17  other property located in the street, right-of-way, or public 
 22.18  place whenever the franchising authority undertakes public 
 22.19  improvements which that affect the cable equipment; 
 22.20     (r) (q) a provision incorporating by reference as a minimum 
 22.21  the technical standards promulgated by the Federal 
 22.22  Communications Commission relating to cable communications 
 22.23  systems contained in subpart K of part 76 of the Federal 
 22.24  Communications Commission's rules and regulations relating to 
 22.25  cable communications systems and found in Code of Federal 
 22.26  Regulations, title 47, sections 76.601 to 76.617.  The results 
 22.27  of tests required by the Federal Communications Commission must 
 22.28  be filed within ten days of the conduct of the tests with the 
 22.29  franchising authority; 
 22.30     (s) (r) a provision establishing how the franchising 
 22.31  authority and the person operating a cable communications 
 22.32  company system shall determine who is to bear the costs of 
 22.33  required special testing; 
 22.34     (t) a provision pertaining to the franchisee's construction 
 22.35  and maintenance of a cable communications system having the 
 22.36  technical capacity for nonvoice return communications which, for 
 23.1   purposes of this section, means the provision of appropriate 
 23.2   system design techniques with the installation of cable and 
 23.3   amplifiers suitable for the subsequent insertion of necessary 
 23.4   nonvoice communications electronic modules.  
 23.5   In cases where an initial franchise is granted, the franchisee 
 23.6   shall provide a cable communications system having the technical 
 23.7   capacity for nonvoice return communications. 
 23.8   When a franchise is renewed, sold, or transferred and is served 
 23.9   by a system that does not have the technical capacity for 
 23.10  nonvoice return communications, the franchising authority shall 
 23.11  determine when and if the technical capacity for nonvoice return 
 23.12  communications is needed after appropriate public proceedings at 
 23.13  the municipal level giving reasonable notice and a reasonable 
 23.14  opportunity to be heard; 
 23.15     (u) (s) a provision stating that no signals of a class IV 
 23.16  cable communications channel may be transmitted from a 
 23.17  subscriber terminal for purposes of monitoring individual 
 23.18  viewing patterns or practices without the express written 
 23.19  permission of the subscriber.  The request for permission must 
 23.20  be contained in a separate document with a prominent statement 
 23.21  that the subscriber is authorizing the permission in full 
 23.22  knowledge of its provisions.  The written permission must be for 
 23.23  a limited period of time not to exceed one year, which is 
 23.24  renewable at the option of the subscriber.  No penalty may be 
 23.25  invoked for a subscriber's failure to provide or renew the 
 23.26  authorization.  The authorization is revocable at any time by 
 23.27  the subscriber without penalty of any kind.  The permission must 
 23.28  be required for each type or classification of class IV cable 
 23.29  communications activity planned for the purpose; 
 23.30     (1) No information or data obtained by monitoring 
 23.31  transmission of a signal from a subscriber terminal, including 
 23.32  but not limited to lists of the names and addresses of the 
 23.33  subscribers or lists that identify the viewing habits of 
 23.34  subscribers, may be sold or otherwise made available to any 
 23.35  party person other than to the company and its employees for 
 23.36  internal business use, or to the subscriber who is the subject 
 24.1   of that information, unless the company has received specific 
 24.2   written authorization from the subscriber to make the data 
 24.3   available; 
 24.4      (2) Written permission from the subscriber must not be 
 24.5   required for the systems conducting systemwide or individually 
 24.6   addressed electronic sweeps for the purpose of verifying system 
 24.7   integrity or monitoring for the purpose of billing. 
 24.8   Confidentiality of this information is subject to clause (1); 
 24.9      (3) For purposes of this provision, a "class IV cable 
 24.10  communications channel" means a signaling path provided by a 
 24.11  cable communications system to transmit signals of any type from 
 24.12  a subscriber terminal to another point in the communications 
 24.13  system; 
 24.14     (v) (t) a provision specifying the procedure for the 
 24.15  investigation and resolution by the franchisee of complaints 
 24.16  regarding quality of service, equipment malfunction, billing 
 24.17  disputes, and other matters; 
 24.18     (w) (u) a provision requiring that at least a toll-free or 
 24.19  collect telephone number for the reception of complaints be 
 24.20  provided to the subscriber and that the franchisee shall 
 24.21  maintain a repair service capable of responding to subscriber 
 24.22  complaints or requests for service within 24 hours after receipt 
 24.23  of the complaint or request.  The A provision must also state 
 24.24  who will bear the costs included in making these repairs, 
 24.25  adjustments, or installations; 
 24.26     (x) (v) a provision granting the franchising authority the 
 24.27  right to terminate and cancel the franchise and the rights and 
 24.28  privileges of the franchise if the franchisee substantially 
 24.29  violates a provision of the franchise ordinance, attempts to 
 24.30  evade the provisions of the franchise ordinance, or practices 
 24.31  fraud or deceit upon the franchising authority.  The 
 24.32  municipality shall provide the franchisee with a written notice 
 24.33  of the cause for termination and its intention to terminate the 
 24.34  franchise and shall allow the franchisee a minimum of 30 days 
 24.35  after service of the notice in which to correct the violation.  
 24.36  The franchisee must be provided with an opportunity to be heard 
 25.1   at a public hearing before the governing body of the 
 25.2   municipality before the termination of the franchise; 
 25.3      (y) (w) a provision that no person operating a cable 
 25.4   communications company system, notwithstanding any provision in 
 25.5   a franchise, may abandon a cable communications service system 
 25.6   or a portion of it without having given three months prior 
 25.7   written notice to the franchising authority.  No person 
 25.8   operating a cable communications company system may abandon a 
 25.9   cable communications service system or a portion of it without 
 25.10  compensating the franchising authority for damages resulting to 
 25.11  it from the abandonment; 
 25.12     (z) (x) a provision requiring that upon termination or 
 25.13  forfeiture of a franchise, unless otherwise required by 
 25.14  applicable law, the franchisee shall remove its cable, wires, 
 25.15  and appliances from the streets, alleys, and other public places 
 25.16  within the franchise area if the franchising authority so 
 25.17  requests, and a procedure to be followed in the event the 
 25.18  franchisee fails to remove its cable, wires, and appliances from 
 25.19  the streets, alleys, and other public places within the 
 25.20  franchise area; 
 25.21     (aa) (y) a provision that when a franchise or cable system 
 25.22  is offered for sale to be transferred or sold, the franchising 
 25.23  authority shall have has the right to purchase the system; 
 25.24     (bb) (z) a provision establishing the minimum number of 
 25.25  access channels that the franchisee shall make available.  This 
 25.26  provision must require that the franchisee shall provide to each 
 25.27  of its subscribers who receive some or all of the services 
 25.28  offered on the system, reception on at least one specially 
 25.29  designated access channel.  The specially designated access 
 25.30  channel may be used by local educational authorities and local 
 25.31  government on a first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory 
 25.32  basis.  During those hours that the specially designated access 
 25.33  channel is not being used by the local educational authorities 
 25.34  or local government, the franchisee shall lease time to 
 25.35  commercial or noncommercial users on a first-come, first-served, 
 25.36  nondiscriminatory basis if the demand for that time arises.  The 
 26.1   franchisee may also use this specially designated access channel 
 26.2   for local origination during those hours when the channel is not 
 26.3   in use by local educational authorities, local government, or 
 26.4   commercial or noncommercial users who have leased time.  The 
 26.5   provision may require the franchisee to provide separate public 
 26.6   access channels available for use by the general public on a 
 26.7   first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory basis; local 
 26.8   educational access channels; local governmental access channels; 
 26.9   and channels available for lease on a first-come, first-served, 
 26.10  nondiscriminatory basis by commercial and noncommercial users.  
 26.11  The provision may require that whenever the specially designated 
 26.12  access channel required by this paragraph is in use during 80 
 26.13  percent of the weekdays, Monday through Friday, for 80 percent 
 26.14  of the time during a consecutive three-hour period for six weeks 
 26.15  running, and there is a demand for use of an additional channel 
 26.16  for the same purpose, the franchisee has six months in which to 
 26.17  provide a new, specially designated access channel for the same 
 26.18  purpose; provided that, the provision of the additional channel 
 26.19  or channels does not require the cable system to install 
 26.20  converters.  The VHF spectrum must be used for one of the 
 26.21  public, educational, or governmental specially designated access 
 26.22  channel channels required in this paragraph.  The provision must 
 26.23  also require that the franchisee shall establish rules for the 
 26.24  administration of the specially designated access channel. 
 26.25  Franchisees providing only alarm services or only data 
 26.26  transmission services for computer-operated functions do not 
 26.27  need to provide access channel reception to alarm and data 
 26.28  service subscribers., unless such channel is administered by a 
 26.29  municipality; 
 26.30     (aa) a provision specifying the minimum equipment that the 
 26.31  franchisee shall make available for public use.  The provision 
 26.32  may require the franchisee to make readily available for public 
 26.33  use at least the minimal equipment necessary for the production 
 26.34  of programming and playback of prerecorded programs for the 
 26.35  access channels.  The provision may require that, upon request, 
 26.36  the franchisee, at minimum, shall also make readily available 
 27.1   the minimum equipment necessary to make it possible to record 
 27.2   programs at remote locations with battery-operated portable 
 27.3   equipment; and 
 27.4      (bb) for a franchise in the metropolitan area, as defined 
 27.5   in section 473.121, a provision designating the standard VHF 
 27.6   channel 6 for uniform regional channel usage as required in 
 27.7   section 238.43. 
 27.8      Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.11, 
 27.9   subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 27.10     Subd. 2. [ACCESS CHANNEL.] No cable communications 
 27.11  company system may prohibit or limit a program or class or type 
 27.12  of program presented over a leased channel or a channel made 
 27.13  available for public access, governmental or educational 
 27.14  purposes.  Neither the person operating a cable communications 
 27.15  company system nor the officers, directors, or employees of the 
 27.16  cable communications system is liable for any penalties or 
 27.17  damages arising from programming content not originating from or 
 27.18  produced by the cable communications company system and shown on 
 27.19  any public access channel, education access channel, government 
 27.20  access channel, leased access channel, or regional channel. 
 27.21     Sec. 10.  [238.115] [CABLE PROVIDER COMPLAINTS.] 
 27.22     A cable communications company holding a franchise to 
 27.23  provide cable communications services in any area of this state 
 27.24  must immediately provide a consumer complaint telephone number 
 27.25  to any person who calls the company or its agent and asks for a 
 27.26  consumer complaint number.  The number provided must be the 
 27.27  telephone number of a person or agency that is unaffiliated with 
 27.28  the cable communications company and that is organized to 
 27.29  provide assistance to complaining consumers. 
 27.30     Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.22, 
 27.31  subdivision 13, is amended to read: 
 27.32     Subd. 13.  [PROPERTY OWNER.] "Property owner" means any 
 27.33  person with a recorded interest in a multiple dwelling complex, 
 27.34  or person known to the person operating a cable communications 
 27.35  company system to be an owner, or the authorized agent of the 
 27.36  person.  
 28.1      Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.23, is 
 28.2   amended to read: 
 28.3      238.23 [ACCESS REQUIRED.] 
 28.4      Subdivision 1.  [PROVISION OF ACCESS.] A property owner or 
 28.5   other person controlling access shall provide a cable 
 28.6   communications company system access to the property owner's 
 28.7   multiple dwelling complex.  The access provided must be 
 28.8   perpetual and freely transferable by one person operating a 
 28.9   cable communications company system to another.  A cable 
 28.10  communications company system granted access, and its successors 
 28.11  in interest, must fully comply with sections 238.22 to 238.27.  
 28.12     Subd. 2.  [RESIDENT'S RIGHTS.] The intent of sections 
 28.13  238.22 to 238.27 is to give residents the freedom to choose 
 28.14  among competing cable communications services and nothing in 
 28.15  sections 238.22 to 238.27 shall be interpreted to require 
 28.16  requires residents to hook up or subscribe to any services 
 28.17  offered by any cable communications company system or 
 28.18  alternative provider of cable communications services. 
 28.19     Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
 28.20  subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
 28.21     Subd. 3.  [INSTALLATION; BOND.] The facilities must be 
 28.22  installed in an expeditious and workmanlike manner, must comply 
 28.23  with applicable codes, and must be installed parallel to utility 
 28.24  lines when economically feasible.  A property owner may require 
 28.25  a person operating a cable communications company system to post 
 28.26  a bond or equivalent security in an amount not exceeding the 
 28.27  estimated cost of installation of the cable communications 
 28.28  facilities on the premises.  Any bond filed by a cable 
 28.29  communications company system with a municipality which that 
 28.30  would provide coverage to the property owner as provided under 
 28.31  this subdivision shall be considered to fulfill fulfills the 
 28.32  requirements of this subdivision.  
 28.33     Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
 28.34  subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
 28.35     Subd. 4.  [INDEMNIFY FOR DAMAGE.] A person operating a 
 28.36  cable communications company system shall indemnify a property 
 29.1   owner for damage caused by the company in the installation, 
 29.2   operation, maintenance, or removal of its facilities.  
 29.3      Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
 29.4   subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
 29.5      Subd. 6.  [MASTER ANTENNA TELEVISION SYSTEM.] Nothing in 
 29.6   sections 238.22 to 238.27 precludes a property owner from 
 29.7   entering into an agreement for use of a master antenna 
 29.8   television system by a person operating a cable communications 
 29.9   company system or other television communications service.  
 29.10     Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
 29.11  subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
 29.12     Subd. 9.  [NOT RETROACTIVE.] Nothing in sections 238.22 to 
 29.13  238.27 affects the validity of an agreement effective before 
 29.14  June 15, 1983 between a property owner, a person operating a 
 29.15  cable communications company system, or any other person 
 29.16  providing cable communications services on or within the 
 29.17  premises of the property owner.  
 29.18     Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
 29.19  subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
 29.20     Subd. 10.  [CHANNEL CAPACITY.] (a) A property owner must 
 29.21  provide access by to a franchised person operating a cable 
 29.22  communications company system, as required under section 238.23, 
 29.23  only if that cable company installs equipment with channel 
 29.24  capacity sufficient to provide access to other providers of 
 29.25  television programming or cable communications services so that 
 29.26  residents or association members have a choice of alternative 
 29.27  providers of those services.  If the equipment is installed, the 
 29.28  cable communications company system shall allow alternative 
 29.29  providers to use the equipment.  If some of the residents or 
 29.30  association members choose to subscribe to the services of an 
 29.31  alternative provider, the cable company that installed the 
 29.32  equipment shall must be reimbursed by the other providers for 
 29.33  the cost of equipment and installation on the property on a pro 
 29.34  rata basis which that reflects the number of subscribers of each 
 29.35  provider on that property to the total number of subscribers on 
 29.36  that property.  In determining the pro rata amount of 
 30.1   reimbursement by any alternative provider, the cost of equipment 
 30.2   and installation shall must be reduced to the extent of 
 30.3   cumulative depreciation of that equipment at the time the 
 30.4   alternative provider begins providing service.  
 30.5      (b) If equipment is already installed as of June 15, 1983, 
 30.6   with channel capacity sufficient to allow access to alternative 
 30.7   providers, the access and pro rata reimbursement provisions of 
 30.8   paragraph (a) apply.  
 30.9      Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 
 30.10  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
 30.11     Subdivision 1.  [PROVIDING ALTERNATIVE SERVICE.] Other 
 30.12  providers of television programming or cable communications 
 30.13  services shall notify the person operating a cable 
 30.14  communications company system when a resident or association 
 30.15  member occupying a dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling complex 
 30.16  requests the services provided for by this section or section 
 30.17  238.241.  After reaching agreement with the alternative service 
 30.18  provider for reimbursement to be paid for use of the equipment, 
 30.19  the cable communications company system shall make available the 
 30.20  equipment necessary to provide the alternative service without 
 30.21  unreasonable delay.  
 30.22     Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 
 30.23  subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
 30.24     Subd. 3.  [FINANCIAL RECORDS MADE AVAILABLE.] The person 
 30.25  operating a cable communications company system, upon written 
 30.26  request, shall make available to the alternative provider 
 30.27  financial records supporting the reimbursement cost requested.  
 30.28     Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 
 30.29  subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
 30.30     Subd. 5.  [SERVICE OF PETITION.] The petition must be 
 30.31  served upon all persons named in the petition as property owners 
 30.32  in the same manner as a summons in a civil action; except that, 
 30.33  service may be made upon a property owner by three weeks' 
 30.34  published notice if the person operating a cable communications 
 30.35  company system, its or the person's agent or attorney, files an 
 30.36  affidavit stating on belief that the property owner is not a 
 31.1   resident of the state and that the company has mailed a copy of 
 31.2   the notice to the property owner at the property owner's place 
 31.3   of residence, or that after diligent inquiry the property 
 31.4   owner's place of residence cannot be ascertained by the 
 31.5   company.  If the state is a property owner, the notice must be 
 31.6   served upon the attorney general.  Any property owner not served 
 31.7   as provided under this paragraph is not bound by the proceeding 
 31.8   unless the property owner voluntarily appears therein in the 
 31.9   proceeding.  
 31.10     Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 
 31.11  subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
 31.12     Subd. 10.  [FINAL CERTIFICATE.] Upon completion of the 
 31.13  proceedings, the attorney for the person operating the cable 
 31.14  communications company system shall make a certificate 
 31.15  describing the access acquired and the purpose or purposes for 
 31.16  which acquired, and reciting the fact of final payment of all 
 31.17  awards or judgments in relation thereto.  The certificate must 
 31.18  be filed with the court administrator and a certified copy 
 31.19  thereof filed for record with the county recorder.  The record 
 31.20  is notice to all parties of the access to the premises described 
 31.21  in the petition.  
 31.22     Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 
 31.23  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
 31.24     Subdivision 1.  [LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.] There is a 
 31.25  long-standing legislative policy in the state of Minnesota to 
 31.26  provide for the dedication or other provision of easements and 
 31.27  public rights-of-way required by public utilities and cable 
 31.28  communications companies systems.  Except for applicable 
 31.29  governmental rules, these easements do not include any 
 31.30  limitation on the type, number, or size of cables or related 
 31.31  cable communication system components.  There is a public 
 31.32  understanding and acceptance of the need of public utilities and 
 31.33  cable communications companies systems to have the ability to 
 31.34  use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way in order 
 31.35  to provide new and improved cable communications services made 
 31.36  possible by technological developments and to make changes to 
 32.1   the cables or related cable communication systems components. 
 32.2   Changing technology has caused and will continue to cause over 
 32.3   time the development of new cable communications services 
 32.4   requiring changing uses of existing utility easements and public 
 32.5   rights-of-way.  Cable communications companies systems have a 
 32.6   need to use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way 
 32.7   in order to deliver their services to the public.  The addition 
 32.8   of cable communications system components does not constitute an 
 32.9   unanticipated or added burden on the real estate subject to the 
 32.10  easements or public rights-of-way.  
 32.11     Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 
 32.12  subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
 32.13     Subd. 4.  [RESTRICTIONS ON USE.] (a) As a condition of 
 32.14  using any utility easement, a cable communications company shall 
 32.15  be system is subject to any burdens, duties, or obligations 
 32.16  specified in the easement of the grantee of the easement.  
 32.17     (b) Subject to any applicable rights and obligations of 
 32.18  sections 237.162 and 237.163 and any local right-of-way 
 32.19  ordinance adopted under those statutes, a person operating a 
 32.20  cable communications company system shall restore the real 
 32.21  estate, and any landscaping or improvements thereon, to the 
 32.22  condition they were in prior to entry within 30 days of 
 32.23  completing the installation of the cables and related cable 
 32.24  communications system components upon that real estate and to 
 32.25  make changes to the cables or related cable communication 
 32.26  systems components.  Changing technology has caused and will 
 32.27  continue to cause over time the development of new cable 
 32.28  communications services requiring changing uses of existing 
 32.29  utility easements.  Restoration which cannot be completed during 
 32.30  the winter months must be accomplished as promptly as weather 
 32.31  conditions permit.  
 32.32     Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.36, 
 32.33  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 32.35  EQUIPMENT.] "Cable communications company's system's equipment" 
 32.36  means aerial wires, cables, amplifiers, associated power supply 
 33.1   equipment, and other transmission apparatus necessary for the 
 33.2   proper operation of the cable communications system in a 
 33.3   franchised area. 
 33.4      Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.39, is 
 33.5   amended to read: 
 33.6      238.39 [LEGAL AUTHORITY.] 
 33.7      Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 
 33.8   provision that the cable communications company system shall 
 33.9   submit to the public utility company evidence of the cable 
 33.10  communications company's system's lawful authority to place, 
 33.11  maintain, and operate its facilities within public streets, 
 33.12  highways, and other thoroughfares and shall secure the legally 
 33.13  necessary permits and consents from federal, state, county, and 
 33.14  municipal authorities to construct, maintain, and operate 
 33.15  facilities at the locations of poles or conduit systems of the 
 33.16  public utility company which that it uses.  The parties to the 
 33.17  agreement shall at all times observe and comply with, and the 
 33.18  provisions of a pole, duct, and conduit agreement are subject 
 33.19  to, the laws, ordinances, and rules which that in any manner 
 33.20  affect the rights and obligations of the parties to the 
 33.21  agreement, so long as the laws, ordinances, or rules remain in 
 33.22  effect. 
 33.23     Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.40, is 
 33.24  amended to read: 
 33.26     (a) Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 
 33.27  provision that the cable communications company system shall 
 33.28  defend, indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility 
 33.29  from and against any and all claims and demands for damages to 
 33.30  property and injury or death to persons, including payments made 
 33.31  under any worker's compensation law or under any plan for 
 33.32  employees' disability and death benefits, which may arise out of 
 33.33  or be caused: 
 33.34     (1) by the erection, maintenance, presence, use, or removal 
 33.35  of the cable communications company's system's cable, equipment, 
 33.36  and facilities or by the proximity of the cables, equipment, and 
 34.1   facilities of the parties to the agreement,; or 
 34.2      (2) by any act of the cable communications company system 
 34.3   on or in the vicinity of the public utility company's poles and 
 34.4   conduit system, in the performance of the agreement.  Nothing 
 34.5   contained in this section relieves the public utility company 
 34.6   from liability for the negligence of the public utility company 
 34.7   or anyone acting under its direction and control.  
 34.8      (b) The cable communications company system shall also 
 34.9   indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility: 
 34.10     (1) from any and all claims and demands which that arise 
 34.11  directly or indirectly from the operation of the cable 
 34.12  communications company's system's facilities including taxes, 
 34.13  special charges by others, claims, and demands (i) for damages 
 34.14  or loss for infringement of copyright, (ii) for libel and 
 34.15  slander, (iii) for unauthorized use of television broadcast 
 34.16  programs, and (iv) for unauthorized use of other program 
 34.17  material,; and 
 34.18     (2) from and against all claims and demands for 
 34.19  infringement of patents with respect to the manufacture, use, 
 34.20  and operation of the cable communications equipment in 
 34.21  combination with the public utility company's poles, conduit 
 34.22  system, or otherwise. 
 34.23     (c) Nothing contained in this section relieves the public 
 34.24  utility company from liability for the negligence of the public 
 34.25  utility company or anyone acting under its direction and control.
 34.26     Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.43, 
 34.27  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
 34.28     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION REGIONAL CHANNEL ENTITY.] For 
 34.29  the purposes of this section "Regional channel entity" or 
 34.30  "entity" means an independent, nonprofit corporation to govern 
 34.31  the operation of the regional channel. 
 34.32     Sec. 28.  [REVISOR INSTRUCTIONS.] 
 34.33     (a) The revisor of statutes shall delete the words "shall 
 34.34  mean" and insert "means" where found in Minnesota Statutes, 
 34.35  section 238.02. 
 34.36     (b) The revisor of statutes shall change the term "cable 
 35.1   communications company" to "cable communications system" where 
 35.2   found in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 238. 
 35.3      (c) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.18, subdivision 1, 
 35.4   the revisor of statutes shall delete paragraph (a) and renumber 
 35.5   paragraph (b) as section 238.02, subdivision 1b, and renumber 
 35.6   paragraph (c) as section 238.02, subdivision 34. 
 35.7      (d) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.22, the revisor of 
 35.8   statutes shall renumber subdivision 6 as section 238.02, 
 35.9   subdivision 1a; subdivision 7 as section 238.02, subdivision 1c; 
 35.10  subdivision 8 as section 238.02, subdivision 1d; subdivision 10 
 35.11  as section 238.02, subdivision 21a; subdivision 11 as section 
 35.12  238.02, subdivision 28a; subdivision 12 as section 238.02, 
 35.13  subdivision 29a; subdivision 13 as section 238.02, subdivision 
 35.14  31a; and subdivision 14 as section 238.02, subdivision 31d. 
 35.15     (e) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.36, the revisor of 
 35.16  statutes shall renumber subdivision 2 as section 238.02, 
 35.17  subdivision 3a; subdivision 3 as section 238.02, subdivision 
 35.18  20a; and subdivision 4 as section 238.02, subdivision 31b. 
 35.19     (f) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota 
 35.20  Statutes, section 238.43, subdivision 1, as section 238.02, 
 35.21  subdivision 31c. 
 35.22     Sec. 29.  [REPEALER.] 
 35.23     Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 238.01; 238.02, 
 35.24  subdivisions 2, 17, 18, 19, and 25; 238.082; 238.083, 
 35.25  subdivisions 3 and 5; 238.084, subdivisions 2, 3, and 5; 238.12, 
 35.26  subdivision 1a; and 238.36, subdivision 1, are repealed.