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HF 2396

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 02:03am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to telecommunications; amending regulation of cable communications
systems; providing regulation of state-authorized video service providers;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 238.02, by adding subdivisions;
238.03; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 238.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 238.02, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 3b. new text end

new text begin Commission. new text end

new text begin "Commission" means the Minnesota Public Utilities
Commission.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 238.02, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 33a. new text end

new text begin State-authorized video provider. new text end

new text begin "State-authorized video provider"
means an entity authorized by the commission under sections 238.50 to 238.62 to
provide video service. Cable communications system providers operating under the
provisions of sections 238.02 to 238.43 and other providers of television programming
or cable communications systems as defined in section 238.02, subdivision 29a, are not
state-authorized video providers and are not governed by sections 238.50 to 238.62.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 238.02, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 35. new text end

new text begin Video service. new text end

new text begin "Video service" means the provision of: (1) the service
of receiving and amplifying (i) programs broadcast by one or more television or radio
stations and (ii) other programs originated by a person operating a cable communications
system, by a state-authorized video provider, or by another person; and (2) distributing
those programs by wire, cable, microwave, or other means, regardless of whether the
means are owned or leased, to persons who subscribe to the service.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 238.03, is amended to read:


238.03 APPLICABILITY.

This chapter applies to every cable communications system, as defined in section
238.02, operating within the state, including a cable communications system comprised in
whole or in part of facilities subject to regulation under chapter 237new text begin, but not including
a state-authorized video provider, as defined in section 238.02, unless provided for
elsewhere
new text end. Persons possessing franchises for any of the purposes of this chapter are
subject to this chapter although no property has been acquired, business transacted, or
franchises exercised.

Sec. 5.

new text begin [238.44] INTERCONNECTION.
new text end

new text begin Where technically feasible, a cable communications system provider must use
reasonable efforts to interconnect its system with the system of a state-authorized
video service provider for the purpose of providing programs over access channels.
Interconnection may be accomplished by direct cable, microwave link, satellite, or
other reasonable method of connection. A cable communications system provider and
a state-authorized video service provider must negotiate in good faith with respect to
interconnection of access channels. A cable communications system provider may not
withhold interconnection of access channels.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [238.45] PROMOTION; ADVERTISING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Prohibition of promotion. new text end

new text begin A cable communications system may not
place logos, advertisements, promotions, or any other marketing materials that would have
the effect of favoring or promoting any cable communications system over other video
service providers on any access channels.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Advertising. new text end

new text begin A cable communications system provider may not refuse to
carry advertising requested by any other provider of video service on advertising space
owned and controlled by the provider of the cable service or the video service. A cable
communications system ensures that no less than ten percent of all advertising space
owned and controlled by the cable communications system provider is made available to
all video service providers. A cable communications system has a private right of action
in a court of competent jurisdiction with regard to these requirements.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [238.46] LIMITING CONTENT; LIABILITY.
new text end

new text begin A cable communications system may not prohibit or limit a program or class or type
of program presented over a leased channel or a channel made available for public access,
governmental, or educational purposes. Neither a cable communications system nor
its officers, directors, or employees is liable for any penalties or damages arising from
programming content not originating from or produced by the cable communications
system and shown on any public access channel, governmental access channel, leased
access channel, or regional channel.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [238.50] STATE AUTHORIZATION TO PROVIDE VIDEO SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Application required. new text end

new text begin A person seeking to provide video service
in this state after January 1, 2016, must file an application for authorization with the
commission as required by this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Application contents. new text end

new text begin An application for authority to provide
state-authorized video service must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) the applicant's full legal name; the applicant's address, including the address of
the applicant's place of business; and the names, titles, and telephone numbers of the
applicant's principal officers;
new text end

new text begin (2) a copy of the applicant's articles of incorporation and a list of shareholders,
partners, or members owning ten percent or more of a financial interest in the business;
new text end

new text begin (3) a list of the applicant's affiliates, subsidiaries, and parent organizations, if any;
new text end

new text begin (4) the nature of the applicant's business, including a list of the services it provides;
new text end

new text begin (5) a description of the applicant's business history, including:
new text end

new text begin (i) the date the business was first organized; the dates of subsequent reorganizations,
acquisitions, and divestitures; and the date the applicant started providing video service;
and
new text end

new text begin (ii) the applicant's experience providing video service in this state and other
states, including the types of service provided, the dates and nature of state or federal
authorization to provide the service, the length of time it has provided the service, and
pending or completed criminal, civil, or administrative action taken against the applicant
by a state or federal authority, including any settlements, in connection with the applicant's
provision of video service;
new text end

new text begin (6) the applicant's financial statement for the most recent fiscal year, including
a balance sheet, income statement, notes to the financial statement, and, if available, an
annual report;
new text end

new text begin (7) a statement regarding whether the applicant seeks authority to offer video service
to businesses and residences;
new text end

new text begin (8) all local units of government in which the applicant is seeking to provide video
service;
new text end

new text begin (9) the date by which the applicant expects to offer video service to the area for
which the applicant is seeking certification;
new text end

new text begin (10) a description of the applicant's policies, personnel, and equipment maintenance,
including information demonstrating the applicant's ability to respond to customer
inquiries promptly;
new text end

new text begin (11) a copy of the applicant's certificate to conduct business issued by the Minnesota
secretary of state; and
new text end

new text begin (12) other information that demonstrates the applicant's managerial, technical, and
financial ability to provide the services it intends to offer consistent with the requirements
of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Issuance of certificate. new text end

new text begin The commission must grant an applicant a
certificate to provide video service if the commission determines that the applicant has
demonstrated the financial, technical, and managerial capability to provide the services
described in its application. In making its determination, the commission must consider:
new text end

new text begin (1) the applicant's experience providing video service in this state and other states;
new text end

new text begin (2) the applicant's personnel, staffing, equipment, and procedures, and the extent
to which these are adequate to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements
of state or federal laws;
new text end

new text begin (3) the extent to which the applicant has had any civil, criminal, or administrative
action taken against it in connection with the applicant's provision of video service;
new text end

new text begin (4) the applicant's cash reserves and the extent to which those reserves or cash
equivalent are adequate to meet the applicant's startup costs and expenses;
new text end

new text begin (5) the applicant's business or owner equity, which must be positive;
new text end

new text begin (6) the applicant's plan and facilities for receiving and responding to customer
inquiries and complaints, which must include a toll-free telephone number providing
access to the applicant's place of business during regular business hours; and
new text end

new text begin (7) any other factors relevant to determining the applicant's technical, managerial,
and financial capability to provide the services described in its application.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Application fee. new text end

new text begin An application to the commission for authority to
provide state-authorized video service must be accompanied by a fee, determined by the
commission, not exceeding $2,000. The application fee may not exceed the commission's
direct and indirect costs of processing an application. The commission will review the
application fee annually and adjust it as necessary.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Service area. new text end

new text begin (a) No person authorized to provide state-authorized
video service may do so in any area for which it has not received authorization from
the commission.
new text end

new text begin (b) An applicant for an amended authorization must file a notice of the expansion or
acquisition with the commission, indicating the additional local units of governments to
be served. Notice of the filing must be served on any affected municipality and shall be
considered approved 20 days after the date of filing with the commission. No additional
fee or payment to the commission for an expansion of authority to offer video service is
required.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Final determination. new text end

new text begin The commission must make a final determination
regarding a state-authorized video service provider application within 30 calendar days
after its receipt.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Termination. new text end

new text begin An authorization to provide video service issued by the
commission under this section may be terminated by the state-authorized video provider
by filing notice with the commission.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [238.52] PROVISION OF PUBLIC ACCESS REQUIRED.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Number of PEG channels. new text end

new text begin Not later than 180 days after a request
by a municipality in which a state-authorized video service provider is providing video
service, a state-authorized video service provider must designate a sufficient amount of
capacity on its communications network to allow the provision of an equal number of
public, educational, and governmental access channels as provided by the existing cable
communications system provider to subscribers in that municipality.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Content format. new text end

new text begin A municipality must ensure that all transmissions,
content, or programming to be transmitted by a state-authorized video service provider
are provided to the state-authorized video service provider in a manner or form that
the state-authorized video service provider is capable of accepting and transmitting
over its network without requiring alteration in content by the state-authorized video
service provider, and which is compatible with the technology or protocol utilized by the
state-authorized video service provider to deliver services.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin PEG fees. new text end

new text begin If a cable communications system provider collects for and
remits a monthly fee to a municipality for public, educational, and governmental access
channels, any state-authorized video service provider providing video service in the
municipality must pay this monthly fee at the same rate. Revenues collected under this
subdivision must be used only to support public, educational, and governmental access
channels.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [238.54] MUNICIPAL PROVIDER FEE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Provider fee requirement. new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service
provider must pay a provider fee to any municipality in which it provides video service.
The provider fee must be paid quarterly, within 45 days after the close of the quarter,
and must be calculated as a percentage of gross revenues. The first payment is due 45
days after the close of the quarter during which a state-authorized video service provider
initiates video service in that municipality.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Provider fee amount. new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service provider must
pay the municipality a provider fee equal to the lesser of: (1) five percent of its gross
revenues collected for video services provided under sections 238.50 to 238.62 within the
municipality, less all costs, fees, and any other mandatory payments or compensation the
state-authorized video service provider is required to pay by the municipality; or (2) the
percentage of gross revenues paid to the municipality by a cable communications system
provider providing video service in the municipality.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Definition. new text end

new text begin For purposes of this subdivision, "gross revenues" means all
revenues derived directly or indirectly by a state-authorized video service provider from
the provision of video service within a municipality. Gross revenues include revenues
from basic video service, other video service tiers, monthly fees for programming offered
on a per-channel or per-program basis, installation and reconnection fees, leased channel
fees, converter rentals, studio rental, production equipment and personnel fees, interactive
video service, advertising, video store sales, late payment service fees, and fees for other
services offered over the system. If a state-authorized video service provider's service is
bundled with other services and sold at a single, nonitemized price, gross revenues include
only those revenues attributable to state-authorized video service based on the provider's
books and records. Gross revenues do not include any taxes on services furnished by the
state-authorized video service provider that are imposed directly upon a subscriber by
the state or other governmental unit and collected by the state-authorized video service
provider on behalf of a governmental unit. A video provider fee is not such a tax.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Billing treatment. new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service provider may identify
the amount of the video provider fee or a tax or monthly charge for public, educational,
and governmental channels collected for a governmental unit as a separate line item on
a subscriber's bill.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [238.56] RED-LINING PROHIBITED.
new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service provider may not deny access to service to any
group of subscribers because of the income, racial, or ethnic characteristics in the local
area in which the subscribers reside.
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [238.58] CUSTOMER SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service provider must comply with customer service
requirements consistent with, but not exceeding, Code of Federal Regulations, title 47,
section 76.309(c), as amended, and emergency alert requirements established by the
Federal Communications Commission.
new text end

Sec. 13.

new text begin [238.60] RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Resolution process. new text end

new text begin A state-authorized video service provider must
implement a process to respond to inquiries made by a subscriber or a municipality
regarding the provision of video service. If an inquiry is not resolved through this process,
a subscriber or municipality may request to enter a confidential nonbinding mediation with
the state-authorized video service provider.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Enforcement. new text end

new text begin If the procedures under subdivision 1 do not resolve
municipal or subscriber inquiries, sections 238.50 to 238.62 may be enforced in an action
brought exclusively in district court for an injunction or action to compel performance.
new text end

Sec. 14.

new text begin [238.62] APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Governance. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter,
a state-authorized video service provider is exclusively governed by the provisions of
sections 238.50 to 238.62, except that the provisions of sections 238.02, subdivisions 3b,
33a, and 35; and 238.35 to 238.46 apply to a state-authorized video provider.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Municipal requirements. new text end

new text begin A municipality may require fee payments
and the provisioning of public, educational, and governmental access channels only as
specified in sections 238.50 to 238.62.
new text end

Sec. 15.

new text begin SEVERABILITY.
new text end

new text begin The provisions of sections 1 to 14 are severable. If any provision of sections 1 to 14
or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid for any reason in a court
of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or any other
application of sections 1 to 14 which can be given effect without the invalid provision
or application.
new text end

Sec. 16. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 15 are effective January 1, 2016.
new text end