2nd Engrossment - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to telecommunications; regulating certain 1.3 payments, credits, and interest charges; changing 1.4 various cable system provisions; establishing consumer 1.5 protections for wireless customers; expanding call 1.6 areas; providing alternative regulation plans for 1.7 telephone companies; amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, 1.8 sections 237.01, subdivision 3; 237.06; 237.766; 1.9 237.773, subdivision 3; 238.02, subdivision 3; 238.03; 1.10 238.08, subdivisions 3, 4; 238.081; 238.083, 1.11 subdivisions 2, 4; 238.084, subdivision 1; 238.11, 1.12 subdivision 2; 238.22, subdivision 13; 238.23; 238.24, 1.13 subdivisions 3, 4, 6, 9, 10; 238.242, subdivisions 1, 1.14 3; 238.25, subdivisions 5, 10; 238.35, subdivisions 1, 1.15 4; 238.36, subdivision 2; 238.39; 238.40; 238.43, 1.16 subdivision 1; 325E.02; proposing coding for new law 1.17 in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 237; 325F; repealing 1.18 Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 238.01; 238.02, 1.19 subdivisions 2, 17, 18, 19, 25; 238.082; 238.083, 1.20 subdivisions 3, 5; 238.084, subdivisions 2, 3, 5; 1.21 238.12, subdivision 1a; 238.36, subdivision 1. 1.22 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.23 ARTICLE 1 1.24 CREDIT FOR WRONG DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE 1.25 Section 1. [237.155] [CREDIT FOR INCORRECT DIRECTORY 1.26 ASSISTANCE.] 1.27 Any person that provides directory assistance to customers 1.28 for a fee, either directly or by contracting with a third party, 1.29 must provide for an immediate credit to a customer that informs 1.30 the directory assistance provider that the provider has given 1.31 the customer incorrect information for which the provider 1.32 charged the customer a fee. 1.33 Sec. 2. [237.665] [PROHIBITION AGAINST BILLING FOR 2.1 UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES.] 2.2 (a) A telephone company or telecommunications carrier 2.3 providing local service shall not include on a customer's bill a 2.4 charge for goods or services on behalf of a third-party service 2.5 provider unless the third-party service provider has obtained 2.6 the customer's prior express authorization to include such 2.7 charges on the customer's bill. 2.8 (b) If a customer of a telephone company or 2.9 telecommunications carrier notifies the telephone company or 2.10 telecommunications carrier that an unauthorized charge from a 2.11 third-party service provider has been included on the customer's 2.12 bill, then the telephone company or telecommunications carrier 2.13 shall remove the unauthorized charge. The telephone company or 2.14 telecommunications carrier shall refund to the customer any 2.15 amounts paid for the unauthorized charges that were billed by 2.16 the telephone company or telecommunications carrier during the 2.17 six months prior to the customer's complaint, unless the 2.18 telephone company or telecommunications carrier can produce 2.19 within 14 calendar days of the complaint evidence to the 2.20 customer of prior express authorization by the customer. 2.21 (c) A third-party service provider meets the prior express 2.22 authorization requirements of this section only if it obtains or 2.23 receives a customer's written authorization in the form of a 2.24 letter of agency, a customer's oral authorization verified by an 2.25 independent third party, or a copy of an e-mail notice of 2.26 verification as described in clause (3). 2.27 (1) If the third-party service provider obtains the 2.28 customer's written authorization in the form of a letter of 2.29 agency, it must be a separate or easily separable document. The 2.30 sole purpose of the letter of agency shall be to authorize a 2.31 charge for goods or services to appear on the customer's 2.32 telephone bill. The letter of agency must be of sufficient size 2.33 to be clearly legible and must contain clear and unambiguous 2.34 language that contains separate statements for each good or 2.35 service for which the customer is agreeing to be billed. The 2.36 letter of agency must be signed and dated by the customer. 3.1 (2) If the customer's authorization is oral, the 3.2 authorization must be verified by an independent third-party 3.3 verifier. The verification is valid only if: 3.4 (i) the independent third party confirms the customer's 3.5 identity with information unique to the customer unless the 3.6 customer refuses, then that fact must be noted; and 3.7 (ii) the independent third party informs the customer that 3.8 the customer is agreeing to be billed for goods or services that 3.9 will appear as a charge on the customer's telephone bill. 3.10 (3) If a customer enters a contract via the Internet with a 3.11 third-party service provider for goods or services which are 3.12 charged to the bill issued by the customer's telephone company 3.13 or telecommunications carrier providing local service, the 3.14 third-party service provider must, within 48 hours of receiving 3.15 the customer's authorization, send the customer, via e-mail, a 3.16 notice of verification confirming the authorization. The 3.17 third-party service provider shall maintain a copy of the notice 3.18 of verification for the duration of the contract as a record of 3.19 the customer's express authorization to be charged for the goods 3.20 or services on the customer's telephone bill for local service. 3.21 (d) For direct-dialed calls, where the call itself 3.22 represents the service for which the charge is placed on a 3.23 customer's local telephone bill, such as "900 number" services 3.24 and "dial around" services, evidence that the call was placed 3.25 from the number that is subject to the telephone bill shall be 3.26 considered sufficient evidence of authorization for that call 3.27 for billing authorization purposes established in this section. 3.28 Nothing in this section shall be construed to change a telephone 3.29 company's or telecommunication carrier's obligations or affect a 3.30 telephone subscriber's rights under section 325F.692. 3.31 (e) This section does not apply to charges for collect 3.32 calls. 3.33 (f) Nothing in this section restricts the right of a 3.34 telephone company or telecommunications carrier to seek to 3.35 recover from a third-party service provider unauthorized charges 3.36 refunded to the customer by the telephone company or 4.1 telecommunications carrier. 4.2 ARTICLE 2 4.3 CABLE SYSTEM CHANGES 4.4 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.02, 4.5 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 4.6 Subd. 3. [CABLE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM.] (a) "Cable 4.7 communications system" means a system
which operatesthat (1) 4.8 provides the service of receiving and amplifying (i) programs 4.9 broadcast by one or more television or radio stations and (ii) 4.10 other programs originated by a person operating a cable 4.11 communications companysystem or by another party, and4.12 distributingperson, and (2) distributes those programs by wire, 4.13 cable, microwave, or other means, regardless of whether the 4.14 means are owned or leased, to persons who subscribe to the 4.15 service. 4.16 (b) This definition does not include: 4.17 (a)(1) a system whichthat serves fewer than 50 4.18 subscribers or a system whichthat serves more than 50 but fewer 4.19 than 1,000 subscribers if the governing bodies of all political 4.20 subdivisions served by the system, vote, by resolution, to 4.21 remove the system from the provisions of this chapter .; provided 4.22 that: 4.23 (i) no part of a system, nor any area within the 4.24 municipality served by the system, may be removed from the 4.25 provisions of this chapter if more than 1,000 subscribers are 4.26 served by the system .; and 4.27 (ii) any system which servesserving more than 50 but fewer 4.28 than 1,000 subscribers that has been removed from the provisions 4.29 of this chapter shall be returnedbecomes subject to the 4.30 provisions of this chapter if the governing bodies of 50 percent 4.31 or more of the political subdivisions served by the system vote, 4.32 by resolution, in favor of the return; 4.33 (b)(2) a master antenna television system; 4.34 (c)(3) a specialized closed-circuit system whichthat does 4.35 not use the public rights-of-way for the construction of its 4.36 physical plant; and 5.1 (d)(4) a translator system whichthat receives and 5.2 rebroadcasts over-the-air signals. 5.3 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.03, is 5.4 amended to read: 5.5 238.03 [APPLICABILITY.] 5.6 This chapter applies to every cable communications system 5.7 and every cable communications company, as defined in section 5.8 238.02, operating within the state, including a cable 5.9 communications company which constructs, operates and maintains5.10 a cable communicationssystem comprised in whole or in part 5.11 through theof facilities of a person franchised to offer common5.12 or contract carrier servicessubject to regulation under chapter 5.13 237. Persons possessing franchises for any of the purposes of 5.14 this chapter are subject to this chapter although no property 5.15 has been acquired, business transacted, or franchises exercised. 5.16 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 5.17 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 5.18 Subd. 3. [MUNICIPAL OPERATION.] Nothing in this chapter5.19 shall be construed to limitUnless otherwise prohibited by 5.20 applicable law, any municipality from the right tomay 5.21 construct, purchase, and operate cable communications systems ,5.22 or , tooperate facilities and channels for community television, 5.23 including, but not limited to, public, educational, and 5.24 governmental access and local origination programming. Any 5.25 municipal system, including the operation of community 5.26 television by a municipality, shall beis subject to this 5.27 chapter to the same extent as wouldany nonpublic cable 5.28 communications system. 5.29 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 5.30 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 5.31 Subd. 4. [FEE, TAX, OR CHARGE.] Nothing in this chapter 5.32 shall be construed to limit the power of any municipality to 5.33 impose upon any person operating a cable communications company5.34 system a fee, tax, or charge. 5.35 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.081, is 5.36 amended to read: 6.1 238.081 [FRANCHISE PROCEDURE.] 6.2 Subdivision 1. [PUBLICATION OF NOTICE.] The franchising 6.3 authority shall have published once each week for two successive 6.4 weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in each municipality 6.5 within the cable service territory, a notice of intent 6.6 to consider an application for a franchise , requesting6.7 applications for the franchiseother than a franchise renewal 6.8 pursuant to the United States Code, title 47, section 546. 6.9 Subd. 2. [REQUIRED INFORMATION IN NOTICE.] The notice must 6.10 include at least the following information: 6.11 (1) the name of the municipality making the request; 6.12 (2) the closing date for submission of applications; 6.13 (3) a statement of the application fee, if any, and the 6.14 method for its submission; 6.15 (4) a statement by the franchising authority of the desired6.16 system design andservices to be offered; 6.17 (5) a statement by the franchising authority of criteria 6.18 and priorities against which the applicants for the franchise 6.19 must be evaluated; 6.20 (6) a statement that applications for the franchise must 6.21 contain at least the information required by subdivision 4; 6.22 (7) the date, time, and place for the public hearing, to 6.23 hear proposals from franchise applicants; and 6.24 (8) the name, address, and telephone number of the 6.25 individuals who may be contacted for further information. 6.26 Subd. 3. [OTHER RECIPIENTS OF NOTICE.] In addition to the 6.27 published notice, the franchising authority shall mail copies of 6.28 the notice of intent to franchise to any person it has 6.29 identified as being a potential candidate for the franchise. 6.30 Subd. 4. [CONTENTS OF FRANCHISING PROPOSAL.] (a) The 6.31 franchising authority shall require that proposals for a cable 6.32 communications franchise be notarized and contain, but not 6.33 necessarily be limited to, the following information: 6.34 (1) plans for channel capacity, including both the total 6.35 number of channels capable of being energized in the system and 6.36 the number of channels to be energized immediately; 7.1 (2) a statement of the television and radio broadcast 7.2 signals for which permission to carry will be requested from the 7.3 Federal Communications Commission; 7.4 (3) a description of the proposed system design and planned 7.5 operation, including at least the following items: 7.6 (i) the general area for location of antennae and the head 7.7 end, if known; 7.8 (ii) the schedule for activating two-way capacity; 7.9 (iii) the type of automated services to be provided; 7.10 (iv) the number of channels and services to be made 7.11 available for access cable broadcasting; and 7.12 (v) a schedule of charges for facilities and staff 7.13 assistance for access cable broadcasting; 7.14 (4) the terms and conditions under which particular service 7.15 is to be provided to governmental and educational entities; 7.16 (5) a schedule of proposed rates in relation to the 7.17 services to be provided, and a proposed policy regarding unusual 7.18 or difficult connection of services; 7.19 (6) a time schedule for construction of the entire system 7.20 with the time sequence for wiring the various parts of the area 7.21 requested to be served in the request for proposals; 7.22 (7) a statement indicating the applicant's qualifications 7.23 and experience in the cable communications field, if any; 7.24 (8) an identification of the municipalities in which the 7.25 applicant either owns or operates a cable communications system, 7.26 directly or indirectly, or has outstanding franchises for which 7.27 no system has been built; 7.28 (9) plans for financing the proposed system, which must 7.29 indicate every significant anticipated source of capital and 7.30 significant limitations or conditions with respect to the 7.31 availability of the indicated sources of capital; 7.32 (10) a statement of ownership detailing the corporate 7.33 organization of the applicant, if any, including the names and 7.34 addresses of officers and directors and the number of shares 7.35 held by each officer or director, and intracompany relationship 7.36 including a parent, subsidiary, or affiliated company; and 8.1 (11) a notation and explanation of omissions or other 8.2 variations with respect to the requirements of the proposal. 8.3 (b) Substantive amendments may not be made in a proposal8.4 after a proposal has been submitted to the franchising authority8.5 and before award of a franchiseUpon submission of a proposal, 8.6 the municipality and applicant may negotiate franchise terms. 8.7 Subd. 5. [TIME LIMIT TO SUBMIT APPLICATION.] The 8.8 franchising authority shall allow at least 20 days from the 8.9 first date of published notice to the closing date for 8.10 submitting applications. 8.11 Subd. 6. [PUBLIC HEARING ON FRANCHISE.] A public hearing 8.12 before the franchising authority affording reasonable notice and 8.13 a reasonable opportunity to be heard with respect to all 8.14 applications for the franchise must be completed at least seven 8.15 days before the introduction of theadoption of a franchise 8.16 ordinance in the proceedings of the franchising authority. 8.17 Subd. 7. [AWARD OF FRANCHISE.] Franchises may be 8.18 awarded onlyby ordinance or other official action by the 8.19 franchising authority. 8.20 Subd. 8. [COSTS OF AWARDING FRANCHISE.] Nothing in this 8.21 section prohibits a franchising authority from recovering from a8.22 successfulan applicant the entire reasonable and necessary 8.23 costs of the entire process of awarding theprocessing a cable 8.24 communications franchise. 8.25 Subd. 9. [FRANCHISING NONPROFIT OR MUNICIPALLY OWNED 8.26 SYSTEM.] Nothing contained in this section prohibits a 8.27 franchising authority from franchising a nonprofit or 8.28 municipally owned system. The municipality or nonprofit entity 8.29 is considered an applicant for purposes of this section. 8.30 Subd. 10. [FRANCHISE; JOINT POWERS.] In the cases of 8.31 municipalities acting in concert, the municipalities may 8.32 delegate to another entity suchany duties, responsibilities, 8.33 privileges, or activities described in this section, if suchthe 8.34 delegation is proper according to state and local law. 8.35 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 8.36 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 9.1 Subd. 2. [WRITTEN APPROVAL OF FRANCHISING AUTHORITY.] A 9.2 sale or transfer of a franchise, including a sale or transfer by 9.3 means of a fundamental corporate change, requires the written 9.4 approval of the franchising authority. The parties to the sale 9.5 or transfer of a franchise shall make a written request to the 9.6 franchising authority for its approval of the sale or transfer. 9.7 The franchising authority shall reply in writing within 30 days9.8 of the request and shall indicate its approval of the request or9.9 its determination that a public hearing is necessary if it9.10 determines that a sale or transfer of a franchise may adversely9.11 affect the company's subscribers. The franchising authority9.12 shall conduct a public hearing on the request within 30 days of9.13 that determination.9.14 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 9.15 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 9.16 Subd. 4. [APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF TRANSFER REQUEST.] Within9.17 30 days after the public hearing,The franchising authority 9.18 shall approve or deny in writing the sale or transfer request. 9.19 The approval must not be unreasonably withheld. 9.20 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.084, 9.21 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 9.22 Subdivision 1. [ALL SYSTEMS.] The following requirements 9.23 apply to all classes A, B, and Ccable communications systems 9.24 unless provided otherwise: 9.25 (a) a provision that the franchise compliesshall comply 9.26 with the Minnesota franchise standards contained in this 9.27 section; 9.28 (b) a provision requiring the franchisee and the 9.29 franchising authority to conform to state laws and rules 9.30 regarding cable communications not later than one year after 9.31 they become effective, unless otherwise stated, and to conform 9.32 to federal laws and regulations regarding cable as they become 9.33 effective; 9.34 (c) a provision limiting The initial and renewal franchise 9.35 term to not more than 15 years each; 9.36 (d) a provision specifying that the franchise ismust be 10.1 nonexclusive; 10.2 (e) a provision prohibiting sale or transfer of the 10.3 franchise or sale or transfer of stock so as to create a new 10.4 controlling interest under section 238.083, except at the 10.5 approval of the franchising authority, which approval must not 10.6 be unreasonably withheld, and conditioned that the sale or 10.7 transfer is completed pursuant to section 238.083; 10.8 (f) a provision granting the franchising authority 10.9 collecting a franchise fee the authority to audit the 10.10 franchisee's accounting and financial records upon reasonable 10.11 notice, and requiring that the franchisee file with the 10.12 franchising authority annually reports of gross subscriber 10.13 revenues and other information as the franchising authority 10.14 deems appropriate; 10.15 (g) provisions specifying: 10.16 (1) current subscriber charges or that the current charges 10.17 are available for public inspection in the municipality; 10.18 (2) the length and terms of residential subscriber 10.19 contracts, if they exist, or that the current length and terms 10.20 of residential subscriber contracts are available for public 10.21 inspection in the municipality; and 10.22 (3) the procedure by which subscriber charges are 10.23 established, unless such a provision is contrary to state or 10.24 federal law; 10.25 (h) a provision indicating by title the office or officer 10.26 of the franchising authority that is responsible for the 10.27 continuing administration of the franchise; 10.28 (i) a provision requiring the franchisee to indemnify and 10.29 hold harmless the franchising authority during the term of the 10.30 franchise, and tomaintain throughout the term of the franchise ,10.31 liability insurance in an amount as the franchising authority 10.32 may require insuring both the franchising authority and the 10.33 franchisee with regard to damages and penalties whichthat they 10.34 may legally be required to pay as a result of the exercise of 10.35 the franchise; 10.36 (j) a provision that at the time the franchise becomes 11.1 effective and thereafter until the franchisee has liquidated all 11.2 of its obligation with the franchising authority, the franchisee 11.3 shall furnish a performance bond, certificate of deposit, or 11.4 other type of instrument approved by the franchising authority 11.5 in an amount as the franchising authority deems to be adequate 11.6 compensation for damages resulting from the franchisee's 11.7 nonperformance. The franchising authority may, from year to 11.8 year and in its sole discretion, reduce the amount of the 11.9 performance bond or instrument; 11.10 (k) a provision that nothing contained in the franchise 11.11 relieves a person from liability arising out of the failure to 11.12 exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring the franchisee's 11.13 facilities while performing work connected with grading, 11.14 regrading, or changing the line of a street or public place or 11.15 with the construction or reconstruction of a sewer or water 11.16 system; 11.17 (l) a provision that the franchisee's technical ability, 11.18 financial condition, and legal qualification were considered and 11.19 approved by the franchising authority in a full public 11.20 proceeding that afforded reasonable notice and a reasonable 11.21 opportunity to be heard; 11.22 (m) a provision requiring the construction of a cable11.23 system with a channel capacity available for immediate or11.24 potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of bandwidth, the11.25 equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels. For purposes of11.26 this section, a cable system with a channel capacity, available11.27 for immediate or potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of11.28 bandwidth means: the provision of a distribution system11.29 designed and constructed so that a minimum of 72 MHz of11.30 bandwidth, the equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels,11.31 can be put into use with only the addition of the appropriate11.32 headend equipment;11.33 (n)a provision in initial franchises that there be a full11.34 description of the system proposed for constructionidentifying 11.35 the system capacity and technical design and a schedule showing: 11.36 (1) that for franchise areas which will be served by a12.1 system proposed to have fewer than 100 plant miles of cable:12.2 (i) that within 90 days of the granting of the franchise,12.3 the franchisee shall apply for the necessary governmental12.4 permits, licenses, certificates, and authorizations;12.5 (ii) that energized trunk cable must be extended12.6 substantially throughout the authorized area within one year12.7 after receipt of the necessary governmental permits, licenses,12.8 certificates, and authorizations and that persons along the12.9 route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" as12.10 desired during the same period of time; and12.11 (iii) that the requirement of this section may be waived by12.12 the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen12.13 events or acts of Godconstruction of the cable communications 12.14 system must commence no later than 240 days after the granting 12.15 of the franchise; or12.16 (2) that for franchise areas which will be served by a12.17 system proposed to have 100 plant miles of cable or more, a12.18 provision:construction of the cable communications system must 12.19 proceed at a reasonable rate of not less than 50 plant miles 12.20 constructed per year of the franchise term; 12.21 (i)(3) that within 90 days of the granting of the12.22 franchise, the franchisee shall apply for the necessary12.23 governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and12.24 authorizations;12.25 (ii) that engineering and design must be completed within12.26 one year after the granting of the franchise and that a12.27 significant amount of construction must be completed within one12.28 year after the franchisee's receipt of the necessary12.29 governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and12.30 authorizations;12.31 (iii) that energized trunk cable must be extended12.32 substantially throughout the authorized area within five years12.33 after commencement of construction and that persons along the12.34 route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" within12.35 the same period of time, if desiredconstruction throughout the 12.36 authorized franchise area must be substantially completed within 13.1 five years of the granting of the franchise; and 13.2 (iv)(4) that the requirement of this section be waived by 13.3 the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen 13.4 events or acts of God; 13.5 (o)(n) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 13.6 a provision that the franchisee shall obtain a permit from the 13.7 proper municipal authority before commencing construction of a 13.8 cable communications system, including the opening or 13.9 disturbance of a street, sidewalk, driveway, or public place. 13.10 The provision must specify remedies available to the franchising 13.11 authority in cases where the franchisee fails to meet the 13.12 conditions of the permit; 13.13 (p)(o) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 13.14 a provision that wires, conduits, cable, and other property and 13.15 facilities of the franchisee be located, constructed, installed, 13.16 and maintained in compliance with applicable codes. The 13.17 provision must also specify that the franchisee keep and 13.18 maintain its property so as not to unnecessarily interfere with 13.19 the usual and customary trade, traffic, or travel upon the 13.20 streets and public places of the franchise area or endanger the 13.21 life or property of any person; 13.22 (q)(p) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 13.23 a provision that the franchising authority and the franchisee 13.24 shall establish a procedure in the franchise for the relocation 13.25 or removal of the franchisee's wires, conduits, cables, and 13.26 other property located in the street, right-of-way, or public 13.27 place whenever the franchising authority undertakes public 13.28 improvements whichthat affect the cable equipment; 13.29 (r)(q) a provision incorporating by reference as a minimum 13.30 the technical standards promulgated by the Federal 13.31 Communications Commission relating to cable communications 13.32 systems contained in subpart K of part 76 of the Federal 13.33 Communications Commission's rules and regulations relating to 13.34 cable communications systems and found in Code of Federal 13.35 Regulations, title 47, sections 76.601 to 76.617. The results 13.36 of tests required by the Federal Communications Commission must 14.1 be filed within ten days of the conduct of the tests with the 14.2 franchising authority; 14.3 (s)(r) a provision establishing how the franchising 14.4 authority and the person operating a cable communications 14.5 companysystem shall determine who is to bear the costs of 14.6 required special testing; 14.7 (t) a provision pertaining to the franchisee's construction14.8 and maintenance of a cable communications system having the14.9 technical capacity for nonvoice return communications which, for14.10 purposes of this section, means the provision of appropriate14.11 system design techniques with the installation of cable and14.12 amplifiers suitable for the subsequent insertion of necessary14.13 nonvoice communications electronic modules.14.14 In cases where an initial franchise is granted, the franchisee14.15 shall provide a cable communications system having the technical14.16 capacity for nonvoice return communications.14.17 When a franchise is renewed, sold, or transferred and is served14.18 by a system that does not have the technical capacity for14.19 nonvoice return communications, the franchising authority shall14.20 determine when and if the technical capacity for nonvoice return14.21 communications is needed after appropriate public proceedings at14.22 the municipal level giving reasonable notice and a reasonable14.23 opportunity to be heard;14.24 (u)(s) a provision stating that no signals of a class IV 14.25 cable communications channel may be transmitted from a 14.26 subscriber terminal for purposes of monitoring individual 14.27 viewing patterns or practices without the express written 14.28 permission of the subscriber. The request for permission must 14.29 be contained in a separate document with a prominent statement 14.30 that the subscriber is authorizing the permission in full 14.31 knowledge of its provisions. The written permission must be for 14.32 a limited period of time not to exceed one year, which is 14.33 renewable at the option of the subscriber. No penalty may be 14.34 invoked for a subscriber's failure to provide or renew the 14.35 authorization. The authorization is revocable at any time by 14.36 the subscriber without penalty of any kind . The permission must15.1 be required for each type or classification of class IV cable15.2 communications activity planned for the purpose; 15.3 (1) No information or data obtained by monitoring 15.4 transmission of a signal from a subscriber terminal, including 15.5 but not limited to lists of the names and addresses of the 15.6 subscribers or lists that identify the viewing habits of 15.7 subscribers, may be sold or otherwise made available to any 15.8 partyperson other than to the company and its employees for 15.9 internal business use, or to the subscriber who is the subject 15.10 of that information, unless the company has received specific 15.11 written authorization from the subscriber to make the data 15.12 available ;. 15.13 (2) Written permission from the subscriber must not be 15.14 required for the systems conducting systemwide or individually 15.15 addressed electronic sweeps for the purpose of verifying system 15.16 integrity or monitoring for the purpose of billing. 15.17 Confidentiality of this information is subject to clause (1) ;. 15.18 (3) For purposes of this provision, a "class IV cable 15.19 communications channel" means a signaling path provided by a 15.20 cable communications system to transmit signals of any type from 15.21 a subscriber terminal to another point in the communications 15.22 system; 15.23 (v)(t) a provision specifying the procedure for the 15.24 investigation and resolution by the franchisee of complaints 15.25 regarding quality of service, equipment malfunction, billing 15.26 disputes, and other matters; 15.27 (w)(u) a provision requiring that at least a toll-free or 15.28 collect telephone number for the reception of complaints be 15.29 provided to the subscriber and that the franchisee shall 15.30 maintain a repair service capable of responding to subscriber 15.31 complaints or requests for service within 24 hours after receipt 15.32 of the complaint or request. TheA provision must also state 15.33 who will bear the costs included in making these repairs, 15.34 adjustments, or installations; 15.35 (x)(v) a provision granting the franchising authority has 15.36 the right to terminate and cancel the franchise and the rights 16.1 and privileges of the franchise if the franchisee substantially 16.2 violates a provision of the franchise ordinance, attempts to 16.3 evade the provisions of the franchise ordinance, or practices 16.4 fraud or deceit upon the franchising authority. The 16.5 municipality shall provide the franchisee with a written notice 16.6 of the cause for termination and its intention to terminate the 16.7 franchise and shall allow the franchisee a minimum of 30 days 16.8 after service of the notice in which to correct the violation. 16.9 The franchisee must be provided with an opportunity to be heard 16.10 at a public hearing before the governing body of the 16.11 municipality before the termination of the franchise; 16.12 (y)(w) a provision that no person operating a cable 16.13 communications companysystem, notwithstanding any provision in 16.14 a franchise, may abandon a cable communications servicesystem 16.15 or a portion of it without having given three months prior 16.16 written notice to the franchising authority. No person 16.17 operating a cable communications companysystem may abandon a 16.18 cable communications servicesystem or a portion of it without 16.19 compensating the franchising authority for damages resulting to 16.20 it from the abandonment; 16.21 (z)(x) a provision requiring that upon termination or 16.22 forfeiture of a franchise, unless otherwise required by 16.23 applicable law, the franchisee shall remove its cable, wires, 16.24 and appliances from the streets, alleys, and other public places 16.25 within the franchise area if the franchising authority so 16.26 requests, and a procedure to be followed in the event the 16.27 franchisee fails to remove its cable, wires, and appliances from 16.28 the streets, alleys, and other public places within the 16.29 franchise area; 16.30 (aa)(y) a provision that when a franchise or cable system 16.31 is offered for saleto be transferred or sold, the franchising 16.32 authority shall havehas the right to purchase the system; 16.33 (bb)(z) a provision establishing the minimum number of 16.34 access channels that the franchisee shall make available. This 16.35 provision must require that the franchisee shall provide to each 16.36 of its subscribers who receive some or all of the services 17.1 offered on the system, reception on at least one specially 17.2 designated access channel. The specially designated access17.3 channel may be used by local educational authorities and local17.4 government on a first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory17.5 basis. During those hours that the specially designated access17.6 channel is not being used by the local educational authorities17.7 or local government, the franchisee shall lease time to17.8 commercial or noncommercial users on a first-come, first-served,17.9 nondiscriminatory basis if the demand for that time arises. The17.10 franchisee may also use this specially designated access channel17.11 for local origination during those hours when the channel is not17.12 in use by local educational authorities, local government, or17.13 commercial or noncommercial users who have leased time.The 17.14 provision may require the franchisee to provide separate public 17.15 access channels available for use by the general public on a 17.16 first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory basis; local 17.17 educational access channels; local governmental access channels; 17.18 and channels available for lease on a first-come, first-served, 17.19 nondiscriminatory basis by commercial and noncommercial users. 17.20 The provision may require that whenever the specially designated 17.21 access channel required by this paragraph is in use during 80 17.22 percent of the weekdays, Monday through Friday, for 80 percent 17.23 of the time during a consecutive three-hour period for six weeks 17.24 running, and there is a demand for use of an additional channel 17.25 for the same purpose, the franchisee has six months in which to 17.26 provide a new, specially designated access channel for the same 17.27 purpose; provided that, the provision of the additional channel 17.28 or channels does not require the cable system to install 17.29 converters. The VHF spectrum must be used for one of the 17.30 public, educational, or governmental specially designated access 17.31 channelchannels required in this paragraph. The provision must 17.32 also require that the franchisee shall establish rules for the 17.33 administration of the specially designated access channel .17.34 Franchisees providing only alarm services or only data17.35 transmission services for computer-operated functions do not17.36 need to provide access channel reception to alarm and data18.1 service subscribers., unless such channel is administered by a 18.2 municipality; 18.3 (aa) a provision specifying the minimum equipment that the 18.4 franchisee shall make available for public use. The provision 18.5 may require the franchisee to make readily available for public 18.6 use at least the minimal equipment necessary for the production 18.7 of programming and playback of prerecorded programs for the 18.8 access channels. The provision may require that, upon request, 18.9 the franchisee, at minimum, shall also make readily available 18.10 the minimum equipment necessary to make it possible to record 18.11 programs at remote locations with battery-operated portable 18.12 equipment; 18.13 (bb) for a franchise in the metropolitan area, as defined 18.14 in section 473.121, a provision designating the standard VHF 18.15 channel 6 for uniform regional channel usage as required in 18.16 section 238.43. 18.17 Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.11, 18.18 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 18.19 Subd. 2. [ACCESS CHANNEL.] No cable communications 18.20 companysystem may prohibit or limit a program or class or type 18.21 of program presented over a leased channel or a channel made 18.22 available for public access, governmental or educational 18.23 purposes. Neither the person operating a cable communications 18.24 companysystem nor the officers, directors, or employees of the 18.25 cable communications system is liable for any penalties or 18.26 damages arising from programming content not originating from or 18.27 produced by the cable communications companysystem and shown on 18.28 any public access channel, education access channel, government 18.29 access channel, leased access channel, or regional channel. 18.30 Sec. 10. [238.115] [CABLE PROVIDER COMPLAINTS.] 18.31 A cable communications company holding a franchise to 18.32 provide cable communications services in any area of this state 18.33 must immediately provide a consumer complaint telephone number 18.34 to any person who calls the company or its agent and asks for a 18.35 consumer complaint number. The number provided must be the 18.36 telephone number of a person or agency that is unaffiliated with 19.1 the cable communications company and that is organized to 19.2 provide assistance to complaining consumers. 19.3 Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.22, 19.4 subdivision 13, is amended to read: 19.5 Subd. 13. [PROPERTY OWNER.] "Property owner" means any 19.6 person with a recorded interest in a multiple dwelling complex, 19.7 or person known to the person operating a cable communications 19.8 companysystem to be an owner, or the authorized agent of the 19.9 person. 19.10 Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.23, is 19.11 amended to read: 19.12 238.23 [ACCESS REQUIRED.] 19.13 Subdivision 1. [PROVISION OF ACCESS.] A property owner or 19.14 other person controlling access shall provide a cable 19.15 communications companysystem access to the property owner's 19.16 multiple dwelling complex. The access provided must be 19.17 perpetual and freely transferable by one person operating a 19.18 cable communications companysystem to another. A cable 19.19 communications companysystem granted access, and its successors 19.20 in interest, must fully comply with sections 238.22 to 238.27. 19.21 Subd. 2. [RESIDENT'S RIGHTS.] The intent of sections 19.22 238.22 to 238.27 is to give residents the freedom to choose 19.23 among competing cable communications services and nothing in 19.24 sections 238.22 to 238.27 shall be interpreted to require19.25 requires residents to hook up or subscribe to any services 19.26 offered by any cable communications companysystem or 19.27 alternative provider of cable communications services. 19.28 Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 19.29 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 19.30 Subd. 3. [INSTALLATION; BOND.] The facilities must be 19.31 installed in an expeditious and workmanlike manner, must comply 19.32 with applicable codes, and must be installed parallel to utility 19.33 lines when economically feasible. A property owner may require 19.34 a person operating a cable communications companysystem to post 19.35 a bond or equivalent security in an amount not exceeding the 19.36 estimated cost of installation of the cable communications 20.1 facilities on the premises. Any bond filed by a cable 20.2 communications companysystem with a municipality whichthat 20.3 would provide coverage to the property owner as provided under 20.4 this subdivision shall be considered to fulfillfulfills the 20.5 requirements of this subdivision. 20.6 Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 20.7 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 20.8 Subd. 4. [INDEMNIFY FOR DAMAGE.] A person operating a 20.9 cable communications companysystem shall indemnify a property 20.10 owner for damage caused by the company in the installation, 20.11 operation, maintenance, or removal of its facilities. 20.12 Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 20.13 subdivision 6, is amended to read: 20.14 Subd. 6. [MASTER ANTENNA TELEVISION SYSTEM.] Nothing in 20.15 sections 238.22 to 238.27 precludes a property owner from 20.16 entering into an agreement for use of a master antenna 20.17 television system by a person operating a cable communications 20.18 companysystem or other television communications service. 20.19 Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 20.20 subdivision 9, is amended to read: 20.21 Subd. 9. [NOT RETROACTIVE.] Nothing in sections 238.22 to 20.22 238.27 affects the validity of an agreement effective before 20.23 June 15, 1983 between a property owner, a person operating a 20.24 cable communications companysystem, or any other person 20.25 providing cable communications services on or within the 20.26 premises of the property owner. 20.27 Sec. 17. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 20.28 subdivision 10, is amended to read: 20.29 Subd. 10. [CHANNEL CAPACITY.] (a) A property owner must 20.30 provide access byto a franchised person operating a cable 20.31 communications companysystem, as required under section 238.23, 20.32 only if that cable company installs equipment with channel 20.33 capacity sufficient to provide access to other providers of 20.34 television programming or cable communications services so that 20.35 residents or association members have a choice of alternative 20.36 providers of those services. If the equipment is installed, the 21.1 cable communications companysystem shall allow alternative 21.2 providers to use the equipment. If some of the residents or 21.3 association members choose to subscribe to the services of an 21.4 alternative provider, the cable company that installed the 21.5 equipment shallmust be reimbursed by the other providers for 21.6 the cost of equipment and installation on the property on a pro 21.7 rata basis whichthat reflects the number of subscribers of each 21.8 provider on that property to the total number of subscribers on 21.9 that property. In determining the pro rata amount of 21.10 reimbursement by any alternative provider, the cost of equipment 21.11 and installation shallmust be reduced to the extent of 21.12 cumulative depreciation of that equipment at the time the 21.13 alternative provider begins providing service. 21.14 (b) If equipment is already installed as of June 15, 1983, 21.15 with channel capacity sufficient to allow access to alternative 21.16 providers, the access and pro rata reimbursement provisions of 21.17 paragraph (a) apply. 21.18 Sec. 18. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 21.19 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 21.20 Subdivision 1. [PROVIDING ALTERNATIVE SERVICE.] Other 21.21 providers of television programming or cable communications 21.22 services shall notify the person operating a cable 21.23 communications companysystem when a resident or association 21.24 member occupying a dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling complex 21.25 requests the services provided for by this section or section 21.26 238.241. After reaching agreement with the alternative service 21.27 provider for reimbursement to be paid for use of the equipment, 21.28 the cable communications companysystem shall make available the 21.29 equipment necessary to provide the alternative service without 21.30 unreasonable delay. 21.31 Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 21.32 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 21.33 Subd. 3. [FINANCIAL RECORDS MADE AVAILABLE.] The person 21.34 operating a cable communications companysystem, upon written 21.35 request, shall make available to the alternative provider 21.36 financial records supporting the reimbursement cost requested. 22.1 Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 22.2 subdivision 5, is amended to read: 22.3 Subd. 5. [SERVICE OF PETITION.] The petition must be 22.4 served upon all persons named in the petition as property owners 22.5 in the same manner as a summons in a civil action; except that, 22.6 service may be made upon a property owner by three weeks' 22.7 published notice if the person operating a cable communications 22.8 companysystem, itsor the person's agent or attorney, files an 22.9 affidavit stating on belief that the property owner is not a 22.10 resident of the state and that the company has mailed a copy of 22.11 the notice to the property owner at the property owner's place 22.12 of residence, or that after diligent inquiry the property 22.13 owner's place of residence cannot be ascertained by the 22.14 company. If the state is a property owner, the notice must be 22.15 served upon the attorney general. Any property owner not served 22.16 as provided under this paragraph is not bound by the proceeding 22.17 unless the property owner voluntarily appears thereinin the 22.18 proceeding. 22.19 Sec. 21. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 22.20 subdivision 10, is amended to read: 22.21 Subd. 10. [FINAL CERTIFICATE.] Upon completion of the 22.22 proceedings, the attorney for the person operating the cable 22.23 communications companysystem shall make a certificate 22.24 describing the access acquired and the purpose or purposes for 22.25 which acquired, and reciting the fact of final payment of all 22.26 awards or judgments in relation thereto. The certificate must 22.27 be filed with the court administrator and a certified copy 22.28 thereof filed for record with the county recorder. The record 22.29 is notice to all parties of the access to the premises described 22.30 in the petition. 22.31 Sec. 22. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 22.32 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 22.33 Subdivision 1. [LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.] There is a 22.34 long-standing legislative policy in the state of Minnesota to 22.35 provide for the dedication or other provision of easements and 22.36 public rights-of-way required by public utilities and cable 23.1 communications companiessystems. Except for applicable 23.2 governmental rules, these easements do not include any 23.3 limitation on the type, number, or size of cables or related 23.4 cable communication system components. There is a public 23.5 understanding and acceptance of the need of public utilities and 23.6 cable communications companiessystems to have the ability to 23.7 use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way in order 23.8 to provide new and improved cable communications services made 23.9 possible by technological developments and to make changes to 23.10 the cables or related cable communication systems components. 23.11 Changing technology has caused and will continue to cause over 23.12 time the development of new cable communications services 23.13 requiring changing uses of existing utility easements and public 23.14 rights-of-way. Cable communications companiessystems have a 23.15 need to use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way 23.16 in order to deliver their services to the public. The addition 23.17 of cable communications system components does not constitute an 23.18 unanticipated or added burden on the real estate subject to the 23.19 easements or public rights-of-way. 23.20 Sec. 23. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 23.21 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 23.22 Subd. 4. [RESTRICTIONS ON USE.] (a) As a condition of 23.23 using any utility easement, a cable communications company shall23.24 besystem is subject to any burdens, duties, or obligations 23.25 specified in the easement of the grantee of the easement. 23.26 (b) Subject to any applicable rights and obligations of 23.27 sections 237.162 and 237.163 and any local right-of-way 23.28 ordinance adopted under those statutes, a person operating a 23.29 cable communications companysystem shall restore the real 23.30 estate, and any landscaping or improvements thereon, to the 23.31 condition they were in prior to entry within 30 days of 23.32 completing the installation of the cables and related cable 23.33 communications system components upon that real estate and to 23.34 make changes to the cables or related cable communication 23.35 systems components. Changing technology has caused and will 23.36 continue to cause over time the development of new cable 24.1 communications services requiring changing uses of existing 24.2 utility easements. Restoration which cannot be completed during 24.3 the winter months must be accomplished as promptly as weather 24.4 conditions permit. 24.5 Sec. 24. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.36, 24.6 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 24.7 Subd. 2. [CABLE COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY'SSYSTEM'S 24.8 EQUIPMENT.] "Cable communications company'ssystem's equipment" 24.9 means aerial wires, cables, amplifiers, associated power supply 24.10 equipment, and other transmission apparatus necessary for the 24.11 proper operation of the cable communications system in a 24.12 franchised area. 24.13 Sec. 25. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.39, is 24.14 amended to read: 24.15 238.39 [LEGAL AUTHORITY.] 24.16 Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 24.17 provision that the cable communications companysystem shall 24.18 submit to the public utility company evidence of the cable 24.19 communications company'ssystem's lawful authority to place, 24.20 maintain, and operate its facilities within public streets, 24.21 highways, and other thoroughfares and shall secure the legally 24.22 necessary permits and consents from federal, state, county, and 24.23 municipal authorities to construct, maintain, and operate 24.24 facilities at the locations of poles or conduit systems of the 24.25 public utility company whichthat it uses. The parties to the 24.26 agreement shall at all times observe and comply with, and the 24.27 provisions of a pole, duct, and conduit agreement are subject 24.28 to, the laws, ordinances, and rules whichthat in any manner 24.29 affect the rights and obligations of the parties to the 24.30 agreement, so long as the laws, ordinances, or rules remain in 24.31 effect. 24.32 Sec. 26. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.40, is 24.33 amended to read: 24.34 238.40 [LIABILITY; INDEMNIFY PUBLIC UTILITY.] 24.35 (a) Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 24.36 provision that the cable communications companysystem shall 25.1 defend, indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility 25.2 from and against any and all claims and demands for damages to 25.3 property and injury or death to persons, including payments made 25.4 under any worker's compensation law or under any plan for 25.5 employees' disability and death benefits, which may arise out of 25.6 or be caused: 25.7 (1) by the erection, maintenance, presence, use, or removal 25.8 of the cable communications company'ssystem's cable, equipment, 25.9 and facilities or by the proximity of the cables, equipment, and 25.10 facilities of the parties to the agreement ,; or 25.11 (2) by any act of the cable communications companysystem 25.12 on or in the vicinity of the public utility company's poles and 25.13 conduit system, in the performance of the agreement. Nothing 25.14 contained in this section relieves the public utility company 25.15 from liability for the negligence of the public utility company 25.16 or anyone acting under its direction and control. 25.17 (b) The cable communications companysystem shall also 25.18 indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility: 25.19 (1) from any and all claims and demands whichthat arise 25.20 directly or indirectly from the operation of the cable 25.21 communications company'ssystem's facilities including taxes, 25.22 special charges by others, claims, and demands (i) for damages 25.23 or loss for infringement of copyright, (ii) for libel and 25.24 slander, (iii) for unauthorized use of television broadcast 25.25 programs, and (iv) for unauthorized use of other program 25.26 material ,; and 25.27 (2) from and against all claims and demands for 25.28 infringement of patents with respect to the manufacture, use, 25.29 and operation of the cable communications equipment in 25.30 combination with the public utility company's poles, conduit 25.31 system, or otherwise. 25.32 (c) Nothing contained in this section relieves the public 25.33 utility company from liability for the negligence of the public 25.34 utility company or anyone acting under its direction and control. 25.35 Sec. 27. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.43, 25.36 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 26.1 Subdivision 1. [ DEFINITIONREGIONAL CHANNEL ENTITY.] For26.2 the purposes of this section"Regional channel entity" or 26.3 "entity" means an independent, nonprofit corporation to govern 26.4 the operation of the regional channel. 26.5 Sec. 28. [REVISOR INSTRUCTIONS.] 26.6 (a) The revisor of statutes shall delete the words "shall 26.7 mean" and insert "means" where found in Minnesota Statutes, 26.8 section 238.02. 26.9 (b) The revisor of statutes shall change the term "cable 26.10 communications company" to "cable communications system" where 26.11 found in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 238. 26.12 (c) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.18, subdivision 1, 26.13 the revisor of statutes shall delete paragraph (a) and renumber 26.14 paragraph (b) as section 238.02, subdivision 1b, and renumber 26.15 paragraph (c) as section 238.02, subdivision 34. 26.16 (d) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.22, the revisor of 26.17 statutes shall renumber subdivision 6 as section 238.02, 26.18 subdivision 1a; subdivision 7 as section 238.02, subdivision 1c; 26.19 subdivision 8 as section 238.02, subdivision 1d; subdivision 10 26.20 as section 238.02, subdivision 21a; subdivision 11 as section 26.21 238.02, subdivision 28a; subdivision 12 as section 238.02, 26.22 subdivision 29a; subdivision 13 as section 238.02, subdivision 26.23 31a; and subdivision 14 as section 238.02, subdivision 31d. 26.24 (e) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.36, the revisor of 26.25 statutes shall renumber subdivision 2 as section 238.02, 26.26 subdivision 3a; subdivision 3 as section 238.02, subdivision 26.27 20a; and subdivision 4 as section 238.02, subdivision 31b. 26.28 (f) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota 26.29 Statutes, section 238.43, subdivision 1, as section 238.02, 26.30 subdivision 31c. 26.31 Sec. 29. [REPEALER.] 26.32 Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 238.01; 238.02, 26.33 subdivisions 2, 17, 18, 19, and 25; 238.082; 238.083, 26.34 subdivisions 3 and 5; 238.084, subdivisions 2, 3, and 5; 238.12, 26.35 subdivision 1a; and 238.36, subdivision 1, are repealed. 26.36 ARTICLE 3 27.1 INTEREST ON DEPOSITS 27.2 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.06, is 27.3 amended to read: 27.4 237.06 [ REASONABLE RATERATES AND SERVICEDEPOSITS.] 27.5 It shall be the duty of every telephone company to furnish 27.6 reasonably adequate service and facilities for the accommodation 27.7 of the public, and its rates, tolls, and charges shall be fair 27.8 and reasonable for the intrastate use thereof. All unreasonable 27.9 rates, tolls, and charges are hereby declared to be unlawful. 27.10 Any telephone company organized after January 1, 1949,may 27.11 include in its charges a reasonable deposit fee not exceeding27.12 $50for facilities furnished. 27.13 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 325E.02, is 27.14 amended to read: 27.15 325E.02 [CUSTOMER DEPOSITS.] 27.16 Any customer deposit required before commencement of 27.17 service by a privately or publicly owned water, gas, telephone, 27.18 cable television, electric light, heat, or power company shall 27.19 be subject to the following: 27.20 (a) Upon termination of service with all bills paid, the 27.21 deposit shall be returned to the customer within 45 days, less 27.22 any deductions made in accordance with paragraph (c). 27.23 (b) Interest shall be paid on deposits in excess of $20 at27.24 the rate of not less than three percent per year. The rate of 27.25 interest must be set annually and be equal to the weekly average 27.26 yield of one-year United States Treasury securities adjusted for 27.27 constant maturity for the last full week in November. The 27.28 interest rate must be rounded to the nearest tenth of one 27.29 percent. By December 15 of each year, the commissioner of 27.30 commerce shall announce the rate of interest that must be paid 27.31 on all deposits held during all or part of the subsequent year. 27.32 The company may, at its option, pay the interest at intervals it 27.33 chooses but at least annually, by direct payment, or as a credit 27.34 on bills. 27.35 (c) At the time the deposit is made the company shall 27.36 furnish the customer with a written receipt specifying the 28.1 conditions, if any, the deposit will be diminished upon return. 28.2 (d) Advance payments or prepayments shall not be construed 28.3 as being a deposit. 28.4 Sec. 3. [RULES OR ORDERS SUPERSEDED.] 28.5 The interest rate set in section 2 supersedes any rate set 28.6 in rule or by administrative order. 28.7 Sec. 4. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 28.8 Section 2 applies to interest paid on deposits held as of 28.9 January 1, 2005. 28.10 ARTICLE 4 28.11 CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR WIRELESS CUSTOMERS 28.12 Section 1. [325F.695] [CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR WIRELESS 28.13 CUSTOMERS.] 28.14 Subdivision 1. [DEFINITIONS.] The definitions in this 28.15 subdivision apply to this section. 28.16 (a) "Contract" means an oral or written agreement of 28.17 definite duration between a provider and a customer, detailing 28.18 the wireless telecommunications services to be provided to the 28.19 customer and the terms and conditions for provision of those 28.20 services. 28.21 (b) "Wireless telecommunications services" means commercial 28.22 mobile radio services as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, 28.23 title 47, part 20. 28.24 (c) "Provider" means a provider of wireless 28.25 telecommunications services. 28.26 (d) "Substantive change" means a modification to, or 28.27 addition or deletion of, a term or condition in a contract that 28.28 results in an increase in the charge to the customer under that 28.29 contract. "Substantive change" includes a modification in the 28.30 provider's administration of an existing contract term or 28.31 condition. "Substantive change" does not include a change in 28.32 state or federal taxes or a change in mandated state or federal 28.33 surcharges, including, but not limited to, 911 surcharges. 28.34 Subd. 2. [COPY OF CONTRACT.] A provider must provide each 28.35 customer with a written or electronic copy of the customer's 28.36 contract between the provider and the customer within 15 days of 29.1 the date the contract is entered into. A provider must maintain 29.2 verification that the customer accepted the terms of the 29.3 contract for the duration of the contract period. 29.4 Subd. 3. [NOTICE OF SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE.] A provider must 29.5 notify the customer in writing of any proposed provider 29.6 initiated substantive change in an existing contract between the 29.7 provider and the customer 30 days before that change is to take 29.8 effect. The notification must be sent separately from other 29.9 mailings and the envelope must be labeled "NOTICE OF PROPOSED 29.10 CHANGE IN CONTRACT TERMS." The notification print must be of 29.11 sufficient size to be clearly legible and it must contain clear 29.12 and unambiguous language separately detailing each substantive 29.13 change proposed by the provider. 29.14 Subd. 4. [CUSTOMER MAY OPT OUT.] The customer may choose 29.15 to opt out of and terminate the contract without penalty within 29.16 the 30-day notice period. The choice to opt out of and 29.17 terminate the contract must be in writing. If no affirmative 29.18 action is taken by the customer to opt out of and terminate the 29.19 contract, the customer is considered to have agreed to the 29.20 proposed substantive change and the contract is considered 29.21 modified. 29.22 Sec. 2. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 29.23 Section 1 is effective on July 1, 2004, and applies to 29.24 contracts for wireless service entered into on or after May 1, 29.25 2004. 29.26 ARTICLE 5 29.27 EXPANDED CALLING AREAS 29.28 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.01, 29.29 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 29.30 Subd. 3. [INDEPENDENT TELEPHONE COMPANY.] "Independent 29.31 telephone company" means a telephone company organized and 29.32 operating under chapter 301 or 302A or authorized to do business 29.33 in Minnesota under chapter 303 as of January 1, 1983, and 29.34 providing local exchange service to fewer than 30,00050,000 29.35 subscribers within the state. 29.36 Sec. 2. [237.414] [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS; TRANSPORT 30.1 FACILITIES; TERMINATIONS.] 30.2 Subdivision 1. [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS.] (a) In addition 30.3 to any existing authority applicable to telephone companies, an 30.4 independent telephone company may expand the area to which it 30.5 can provide calling to its customers upon filing with the 30.6 commission any agreements between the independent telephone 30.7 company and other telephone companies and telecommunications 30.8 carriers entered into under subdivision 3. Calling to these 30.9 expanded areas must be optional to customers and must be in 30.10 addition to the customers' existing local service and any 30.11 extended area service. Subject to sections 237.06 and 237.09, 30.12 the independent telephone company may determine the quantity of 30.13 expanded calling to provide, the prices for that calling, and 30.14 whether to offer calling alone or in combination with one or 30.15 more other telephone or unregulated services. 30.16 (b) Prices for expanded calling service or for bundles of 30.17 services that include expanded calling must exceed the variable 30.18 cost of the expanded calling service or bundles of services, 30.19 determined on an aggregate basis. An independent telephone 30.20 company is not required to file cost information before 30.21 implementing its prices and is not required to file cost 30.22 information except on request of the department, Office of the 30.23 Attorney General, or commission. Customers must be notified of 30.24 local service options and prices, including options that do not 30.25 include expanded calling, as required under section 237.66. The 30.26 independent telephone company shall clearly identify the 30.27 distinction between the expanded calling area and the basic 30.28 local calling area to customers. The independent telephone 30.29 company is not required to offer unlimited flat rate calling to 30.30 these expanded calling areas. The independent telephone company 30.31 shall file tariffs setting forth the expanded calling area along 30.32 with the applicable prices and quantities of calling. 30.33 (c) A rate increase or a substantial change in terms and 30.34 conditions of the expanded calling service may be effective 30 30.35 days after filing with the commission and 30 days after 30.36 providing written notice to affected customers. Rate decreases 31.1 may be effective immediately upon filing. Minor changes to 31.2 terms and conditions may be effective immediately upon filing 31.3 and upon notice to the customers. This section does not apply 31.4 to extended area service or to calling areas previously or 31.5 hereafter established by order of the commission. This section 31.6 does not limit the existing rights and obligations of telephone 31.7 companies and telecommunications carriers to provide local 31.8 calling, including the obligation to offer unlimited flat rate 31.9 calling in the basic local calling area, or expanded calling. 31.10 Subd. 2. [OBTAINING TRANSPORT, SWITCHING FACILITIES.] An 31.11 independent telephone company may construct, purchase, lease, or 31.12 rent transport and switching facilities between its existing 31.13 local area and the expanded calling area that are needed to 31.14 provide the expanded calling. If the independent telephone 31.15 company is unable to reach agreement with other telephone 31.16 companies or telecommunications carriers, the company or carrier 31.17 may petition the commission under section 237.12 to resolve 31.18 issues regarding prices, terms, and conditions for use of any 31.19 transport facilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the 31.20 commission. 31.21 Subd. 3. [TERMINATION OF EXPANDED CALLING TRAFFIC.] (a) An 31.22 independent telephone company providing an expanded calling area 31.23 under this section may enter into an agreement to terminate 31.24 calls with telephone companies and telecommunications carriers 31.25 providing service within the expanded calling area. 31.26 Compensation to the telephone company or telecommunications 31.27 carrier to terminate expanded calling into such areas must be 31.28 the intrastate access charges of the telephone company or 31.29 telecommunications carrier terminating the call or other rates 31.30 agreed upon by the companies. 31.31 (b) Two telephone companies that provide expanded calling 31.32 between their respective areas may also enter into "bill and 31.33 keep" arrangements for exchange of the expanded calling traffic. 31.34 (c) The independent telephone company shall file with the 31.35 commission any agreements for termination of calling by 31.36 telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 32.1 service within the expanded calling area. 32.2 Subd. 4. [AMENDING OR TERMINATING EXPANDED CALLING 32.3 SERVICE.] Except for calling areas that result from a prior or 32.4 subsequent order of the commission, an independent telephone 32.5 company may amend or terminate the expanded calling service upon 32.6 30 days' written notice to customers, the commission, and other 32.7 telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 32.8 local service in the expanded area. The notice to customers of 32.9 an amendment to the expanded calling area or termination of an 32.10 expanded calling area must be sent separately from other 32.11 mailings and clearly explain how the expanded calling area is 32.12 being changed. The notice to customers of an amendment must 32.13 also clearly identify that calls to areas outside of the 32.14 expanded calling area will be long distance calls billed at the 32.15 applicable rate of the customer's long distance carrier. The 32.16 notice to customers of a termination must clearly identify that 32.17 calls to the terminated expanded calling area will become long 32.18 distance calls billed at the applicable rate of the customer's 32.19 long distance carrier. 32.20 Sec. 3. [237.435] [ANNUAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNDING 32.21 CERTIFICATION.] 32.22 In determining whether to provide the annual certification 32.23 of any eligible telecommunications carrier for continued receipt 32.24 of federal universal service funding, the commission shall apply 32.25 the same standards and criteria to all eligible 32.26 telecommunications carriers. 32.27 ARTICLE 6 32.28 ALTERNATIVE REGULATION PLANS FOR TELEPHONE COMPANIES 32.29 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.766, is 32.30 amended to read: 32.31 237.766 [PLAN DURATION AND EXTENSION.] 32.32 Subdivision 1. [PLAN DURATION.] An alternative regulation 32.33 plan approved by the commission under section 237.764 must 32.34 remain in force as approved for the term specified in the plan, 32.35 which must be for no less than three years. Except as otherwise 32.36 provided in this section, within six months prior to the 33.1 termination of the plan , the plan must be reviewed by the33.2 commission and, with the consent of the company, revised or33.3 renewed consistent with sections 237.76 to 237.774, except that33.4 the justification of earnings levels in section 237.764,33.5 subdivision 1, paragraph (c), if required and the provisions33.6 prohibiting rate increases at the initiation of or during the33.7 first three years of a plan contained in section 237.762, shall33.8 not apply to a revised or renewed plan. Any revised or renewed33.9 plan must be approved by the commission and shall contain a33.10 mechanism under which a telephone company may reduce the rates33.11 for price-regulated services below the initial rates or prices33.12 or increase the rates or prices during the term of the revised33.13 or renewed plan. The plan must specify the reports required of33.14 the telephone company for review of the plan and specify that33.15 the telephone company shall maintain records in sufficient33.16 detail to facilitate the reviewthe company shall give notice 33.17 that it will propose a new plan, extend an existing plan, or 33.18 revert to rate of return regulation. 33.19 Subd. 2. [NEW PLAN.] A new plan proposed by a company must 33.20 be reviewed by the commission and, with the consent of the 33.21 company, revised or approved consistent with sections 237.76 to 33.22 237.774, except that the justification of earnings levels in 33.23 section 237.764, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), if required, and 33.24 the provisions prohibiting rate increases at the initiation of 33.25 or during the first three years of a plan contained in section 33.26 237.762, shall not apply to a new plan. Any new plan must be 33.27 approved by the commission and shall contain a mechanism under 33.28 which a telephone company may reduce the rates for 33.29 price-regulated services below the initial rates or prices or 33.30 increase the rates or prices during the term of the plan. The 33.31 plan must specify the reports required of the telephone company 33.32 for review of the plan and specify that the telephone company 33.33 shall maintain records in sufficient detail to facilitate the 33.34 review. A new plan is not an extension, which must be made 33.35 pursuant to subdivision 3. 33.36 Subd. 3. [PLAN EXTENSION.] (a) Notwithstanding the 34.1 provisions of its plan, a telephone company operating under a 34.2 plan as of the effective date of this section, may elect to 34.3 extend that plan for up to three years from the expiration date 34.4 of the plan or until December 31, 2007, whichever is earlier. 34.5 The election is effective upon notification to customers, the 34.6 commission, the department, and the Office of the Attorney 34.7 General. A telephone company must provide notification of its 34.8 election within 30 days of the effective date of this section, 34.9 or within six months of the expiration of its current or expired 34.10 plan, whichever is later. Once a telephone company has elected 34.11 to exercise the option provided under this subdivision, the 34.12 company may elect at any time to terminate the plan by notifying 34.13 customers, the commission, the department, and the Office of the 34.14 Attorney General, in writing, six months prior to the 34.15 termination date. Upon termination of a plan, the company shall 34.16 be regulated as provided in this chapter. 34.17 (b) A telephone company may elect to extend a plan entered 34.18 into after the effective date of this section in lieu of 34.19 proposing a new plan only if the company is in substantial 34.20 compliance with the plan's service quality provisions and has 34.21 met its infrastructure obligations under the plan. If the 34.22 company elects to extend a plan, the rates for price-regulated 34.23 services shall be capped at the rate levels in effect at the 34.24 time the extension commences, provided, however, exceptions to a 34.25 price cap contained in the plan being extended may remain in 34.26 force. Unless otherwise specified in the plan, all other 34.27 provisions of the plan shall continue in effect throughout the 34.28 extension period. A plan may not be extended for less than one 34.29 year or more than three years, and may only be extended once. 34.30 (c) The Department of Commerce or the Office of the 34.31 Attorney General may file an objection to the extension with the 34.32 commission if the company is not in substantial compliance with 34.33 the service quality provisions of its plan or has not met its 34.34 infrastructure obligations under the plan. An objection must be 34.35 filed within 45 days of the company's notice of its intention to 34.36 extend the plan. 35.1 (d) If an objection is filed by the Department of Commerce 35.2 or the Office of the Attorney General, the commission may hold a 35.3 hearing on the issues raised in the objection. The hearings 35.4 shall be completed within 30 days of the deadline for filing the 35.5 objections. If the commission finds that the issues raised in 35.6 the objection are valid, it may reject the extension. If the 35.7 commission finds that the issues raised in the objection are not 35.8 valid, it shall approve the extension. The commission shall 35.9 issue its decision within 15 days of the completion of the 35.10 hearings concerning the objection. 35.11 (e) If the Department of Commerce or the Office of the 35.12 Attorney General does not file an objection, the commission 35.13 shall approve the extension within 60 days of the company's 35.14 filing of its notice of its intention to extend the plan. 35.15 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.773, 35.16 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 35.17 Subd. 3. [LOCAL RATE.] (a) Except as provided in paragraph 35.18 (b), a small telephone company shall not implement a rate 35.19 increase for any service listed in section 237.761, subdivision 35.20 3, beyond the level in effect 60 days prior to an election under 35.21 subdivision 2, until the later of January 1, 1998, or two years 35.22 after making an election. However, a small telephone company 35.23 may implement any new service and establish rates for any new 35.24 service and may change rates for any other service at any time 35.25 subject to the requirements of section 237.761, subdivision 4. 35.26 A small company shall provide to its customers the ability to 35.27 block, at no extra charge, any new service which it offers, 35.28 provides, or bills. This requirement shall not apply to 35.29 services that require affirmative subscription by the customer. 35.30 Nothing in this section shall prevent the commission from 35.31 requiring blocking or other privacy or safety protections for 35.32 other types of telecommunications services under section 237.081. 35.33 (b) At any time following one year after electing under 35.34 subdivision 2, a small telephone company may change rates for 35.35 local services except switched network access services, listed 35.36 in section 237.761, subdivision 3, to reflect: 36.1 (1) changes in state and federal taxes; 36.2 (2) changes in jurisdictional allocations from the Federal 36.3 Communications Commission, the amount of which the small 36.4 telephone company cannot control and for which equal and 36.5 opposite exogenous changes are made on the federal level; 36.6 (3) substantial financial impacts of investments in network 36.7 upgrades which are made; or 36.8 (i) if the investment exceeds 20 percent of the gross plant 36.9 investment of the company; or 36.10 (ii) as the result of government mandates to construct 36.11 specific telephone infrastructure, if the mandate applies to 36.12 local telephone companies and the company would not otherwise be 36.13 compensated. 36.14 A small telephone company may change rates for local services 36.15 listed in section 237.761, subdivision 3, at any time, to 36.16 implement extended area service or any successor to that service 36.17 on an income-neutral basis. 36.18 A small telephone company proposing an increase under this 36.19 subdivision shall provide 60 days' advance written notice to the 36.20 department and each of the company's customers including the 36.21 individual rates affected and the procedure necessary for the 36.22 customers to petition for investigation. If the department 36.23 receives a petition within 45 days after the notice from five 36.24 percent or 500, whichever is fewer, of the customers of the 36.25 small telephone company, the department and the company shall 36.26 jointly determine if the petition is valid and, if so, may 36.27 investigate the rate change to determine if it conforms to the 36.28 limitations of this subdivision. Within 30 days of validating 36.29 the petition, the department shall report its findings to the 36.30 commission, which shall either adopt the report or order changes 36.31 to conform to this subdivision. 36.32 (c) On or after the later of January 1998, or two years 36.33 after making an election under subdivision 2, a small telephone 36.34 company may increase rates for local services, except switched 36.35 network access services, listed in section 237.761, subdivision 36.36 3. A small telephone company proposing an increase shall 37.1 provide 60 days' advance written notice to its customers 37.2 including individual rates affected and the procedure necessary 37.3 for the customers to petition for investigation. If the 37.4 commission receives a petition within 45 days after such notice, 37.5 from five percent or 500, whichever is fewer, of the customers 37.6 of the small telephone company, the department and the company 37.7 shall jointly determine if the petition is valid and, if so, may 37.8 investigate the proposed rate increase to determine if it is 37.9 appropriate in light of rates charged by other local exchange 37.10 telephone companies for comparable services, taking into account 37.11 calling scope, quality of service, the availability of 37.12 competitive alternatives, service costs, and the features 37.13 available to the customers. Within 30 days of validating the 37.14 petition, the department shall file a report with the commission 37.15 which shall then approve appropriate rates for those services. 37.16 Rates established by the commission under this paragraph shall 37.17 not be increased within one year of implementation. 37.18 Sec. 3. [AFOR PLAN EXTENDED; EXPEDITED APPROVAL OF NEW 37.19 PLAN.] 37.20 (a) A telephone company that has received an order from the 37.21 Federal Communications Commission, pursuant to United States 37.22 Code, title 47, section 271, to provide in-region interLATA 37.23 services in the state and that was operating under an 37.24 alternative form of regulation plan approved under Minnesota 37.25 Statutes 2003, sections 237.73 to 237.775, as of December 1, 37.26 2003, shall continue to be regulated under the provisions of 37.27 that plan until December 31, 2005, notwithstanding any contrary 37.28 provision in the plan or in Minnesota Statutes, sections 237.73 37.29 to 237.773. During this period, the telephone company may elect 37.30 to be regulated under traditional rate of return regulation 37.31 under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237, but must give six months' 37.32 notice of that election to the Public Utilities Commission, the 37.33 Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Commerce. 37.34 (b) If, on or before December 31, 2004, a telephone company 37.35 described in paragraph (a), the Department of Commerce and the 37.36 Office of the Attorney General jointly file with the Public 38.1 Utilities Commission a new alternative form of regulation plan 38.2 for the telephone company under Minnesota Statutes 2003, 38.3 sections 237.73 to 237.775, the new plan shall be effective 60 38.4 days after the date of filing. Prior to the filing, the 38.5 Department of Commerce and the Office of the Attorney General 38.6 shall consult with interested stakeholders, including consumer 38.7 groups, regarding the new alternative form of regulation plan. 38.8 Sec. 4. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 38.9 Sections 1 and 3 are effective the day following final 38.10 enactment.