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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 261-H.F.No. 2151 
                  An act relating to utilities; changing certain 
                  telecommunications provisions; providing credits for 
                  incorrect directory assistance; regulating utility 
                  deposits; repealing obsolete rules; regulating cable 
                  franchises; providing for expanded calling areas; 
                  providing for reduced rate regulation for local 
                  service; providing for consumer protection for 
                  wireless customers; regulating cable systems; imposing 
                  penalties; amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 
                  237.01, by adding a subdivision; 237.06; 237.462, 
                  subdivision 1; 238.02, subdivision 3; 238.03; 238.08, 
                  subdivisions 3, 4; 238.081; 238.083, subdivisions 2, 
                  4; 238.084, subdivision 1; 238.11, subdivision 2; 
                  238.22, subdivision 13; 238.23; 238.24, subdivisions 
                  3, 4, 6, 9, 10; 238.242, subdivisions 1, 3; 238.25, 
                  subdivisions 5, 10; 238.35, subdivisions 1, 4; 238.36, 
                  subdivision 2; 238.39; 238.40; 238.43, subdivision 1; 
                  325E.02; Laws 1999, chapter 224, section 7; proposing 
                  coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 
                  237; 238; 325F; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2002, 
                  sections 238.01; 238.02, subdivisions 2, 17, 18, 19, 
                  25; 238.082; 238.083, subdivisions 3, 5; 238.084, 
                  subdivisions 2, 3, 5; 238.12, subdivision 1a; 238.36, 
                  subdivision 1; Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.0100, 
                  subparts 16, 17, 18, 30, 32, 33, 39; 7810.0700; 
                  7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 7810.3700; 7810.3800; 
                  7810.4200; 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 7810.4600; 7810.4700; 
                  7810.4800; 7810.5600; 7810.6900; 7810.8760; 7815.0100; 
                  7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 7815.0500; 7815.0600. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 

                                   ARTICLE 1
                         INCORRECT DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.01, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER.] "Local exchange carrier"
        means a telephone company or telecommunications carrier 
        providing local exchange service. 
           Sec. 2.  [237.155] [CREDIT FOR INCORRECT DIRECTORY 
        ASSISTANCE.] 
           A local exchange carrier that provides directory assistance 
        to customers for a fee, either directly or by contracting with a 
        third party, must provide for an immediate credit to a customer 
        that informs the directory assistance provider that the provider 
        has given the customer incorrect information for which the 
        provider charged the customer a fee.  A local exchange carrier 
        must notify its customers of the right to the immediate credit 
        for incorrect directory assistance.  The notice must be in a 
        writing labeled "NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INCORRECT DIRECTORY 
        ASSISTANCE CREDIT."  The notice must be given to a new customer 
        within 45 days of commencing service and at least annually 
        thereafter and the notification print must be of sufficient size 
        to be clearly legible. 

                                   ARTICLE 2
                                UTILITY DEPOSITS
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.06, is 
        amended to read: 
           237.06 [REASONABLE RATE RATES AND SERVICE DEPOSITS.] 
           It shall be the duty of every telephone company to furnish 
        reasonably adequate service and facilities for the accommodation 
        of the public, and its rates, tolls, and charges shall be fair 
        and reasonable for the intrastate use thereof.  All unreasonable 
        rates, tolls, and charges are hereby declared to be unlawful.  
        Any telephone company organized after January 1, 1949, may 
        include in its charges a reasonable deposit fee not exceeding 
        $50 for facilities furnished.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 325E.02, is 
        amended to read: 
           325E.02 [CUSTOMER DEPOSITS.] 
           Any customer deposit required before commencement of 
        service by a privately or publicly owned water, gas, telephone, 
        cable television, electric light, heat, or power company shall 
        be subject to the following: 
           (a) Upon termination of service with all bills paid, the 
        deposit shall be returned to the customer within 45 days, less 
        any deductions made in accordance with paragraph (c).  
           (b) Interest shall be paid on deposits in excess of $20 at 
        the rate of not less than three percent per year.  The rate of 
        interest must be set annually and be equal to the weekly average 
        yield of one-year United States Treasury securities adjusted for 
        constant maturity for the last full week in November.  The 
        interest rate must be rounded to the nearest tenth of one 
        percent.  By December 15 of each year, the commissioner of 
        commerce shall announce the rate of interest that must be paid 
        on all deposits held during all or part of the subsequent year.  
        The company may, at its option, pay the interest at intervals it 
        chooses but at least annually, by direct payment, or as a credit 
        on bills.  
           (c) At the time the deposit is made the company shall 
        furnish the customer with a written receipt specifying the 
        conditions, if any, the deposit will be diminished upon return.  
           (d) Advance payments or prepayments shall not be construed 
        as being a deposit.  
           Sec. 3.  [RULES OR ORDERS SUPERSEDED.] 
           The interest rate set in section 2 supersedes any rate set 
        in rule or by administrative order. 
           Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 2 applies to interest paid on deposits held as of 
        January 1, 2005, and thereafter. 

                                   ARTICLE 3
                            OBSOLETE RULES REPEALER
           Section 1.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.0100, subparts 16, 17, 18, 30, 
        32, 33, and 39; 7810.0700; 7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 
        7810.3700; 7810.3800; 7810.4200; 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 
        7810.4600; 7810.4700; 7810.4800; 7810.5600; 7810.6900; 
        7810.8760; 7815.0100; 7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 
        7815.0500; and 7815.0600, are repealed. 

                                   ARTICLE 4 
                             EXTENDED SERVICE AREAS 
           Section 1.  [237.414] [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS; TRANSPORT 
        FACILITIES; TERMINATIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [EXPANDED CALLING AREAS.] (a) In addition 
        to any existing authority applicable to telephone companies, a 
        telephone company may expand the area to which it can provide 
        calling to its customers upon filing with the commission any 
        agreements between the telephone company and other telephone 
        companies and telecommunications carriers entered into under 
        subdivision 3.  Calling to these expanded areas must be optional 
        to customers and must be in addition to the customers' existing 
        local service and any extended area service.  Subject to 
        sections 237.06 and 237.09, the telephone company may determine 
        the quantity of expanded calling to provide, the prices for that 
        calling, and whether to offer calling alone or in combination 
        with one or more other telephone or unregulated services. 
           (b) Prices for expanded calling service or for bundles of 
        services that include expanded calling must exceed the variable 
        cost of the expanded calling service or bundles of services, 
        determined on an aggregate basis.  A telephone company is not 
        required to file cost information before implementing its prices 
        and is not required to file cost information except on request 
        of the department, Office of the Attorney General, or 
        commission.  Customers must be notified of local service options 
        and prices, including options that do not include expanded 
        calling, as required under section 237.66.  The telephone 
        company shall clearly identify the distinction between the 
        expanded calling area and the basic local calling area to 
        customers.  The telephone company is not required to offer 
        unlimited flat-rate calling to these expanded calling areas.  
        The telephone company shall file tariffs setting forth the 
        expanded calling area along with the applicable prices and 
        quantities of calling. 
           (c) A rate increase or a substantial change in terms and 
        conditions of the expanded calling service may be effective 30 
        days after filing with the commission and 30 days after 
        providing written notice to affected customers.  Rate decreases 
        may be effective immediately upon filing.  Minor changes to 
        terms and conditions may be effective immediately upon filing 
        and upon notice to customers.  This section does not apply to 
        extended area service or to calling areas previously or 
        hereafter established by order of the commission.  This section 
        does not limit the existing rights and obligations of telephone 
        companies and telecommunications carriers to provide local 
        calling, including the obligation to offer unlimited flat rate 
        calling in the basic local calling area or expanded calling area.
           Subd. 2.  [OBTAINING TRANSPORT, SWITCHING FACILITIES.] A 
        telephone company may construct, purchase, lease, or rent 
        transport and switching facilities between its existing local 
        area and the expanded calling area that are needed to provide 
        the expanded calling.  If the telephone company is unable to 
        reach agreement with other telephone companies or 
        telecommunications carriers, the company or carrier may petition 
        the commission under section 237.12 to resolve issues regarding 
        prices, terms, and conditions for use of any transport 
        facilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        commission. 
           Subd. 3.  [TERMINATION OF EXPANDED CALLING TRAFFIC.] (a) A 
        telephone company providing an expanded calling area under this 
        section may enter into an agreement to terminate calls with 
        telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 
        service within the expanded calling area.  Compensation to the 
        telephone company or telecommunications carrier to terminate 
        expanded calling into such areas must be the intrastate access 
        charges of the telephone company or telecommunications carrier 
        terminating the call or other rates agreed upon by the companies.
           (b) Two telephone companies that provide expanded calling 
        between their respective areas may also enter into "bill and 
        keep" arrangements for exchange of the expanded calling area 
        traffic. 
           (c) The telephone company shall file with the commission 
        any agreements for termination of calling by telephone companies 
        and telecommunications carriers providing service within the 
        expanded calling area.  The prices, terms, and conditions 
        contained in the agreements required to be filed shall be 
        publicly disclosed in their entirety, and other terminating 
        carriers may elect to adopt those prices, terms, and conditions 
        in whole or in part for technically similar services provided in 
        the exchanges included in the agreement.  
           Subd. 4.  [AMENDING OR TERMINATING EXPANDED CALLING 
        SERVICE.] Except for calling areas that result from a prior or 
        subsequent order of the commission, a telephone company may 
        amend or terminate the expanded calling area service upon 30 
        days' written notice to customers, the commission, and other 
        telephone companies and telecommunications carriers providing 
        local service in the expanded area.  The notice to customers of 
        an amendment to the expanded calling area or termination of an 
        expanded calling area must be sent separately from other 
        mailings and clearly explain how the expanded calling area is 
        being changed.  The notice to customers of an amendment must 
        also clearly identify that calls to areas outside of the 
        expanded calling area will be long distance calls billed at the 
        applicable rate of the customer's long distance carrier.  The 
        notice to customers of a termination must clearly identify that 
        calls to the terminated expanded calling area will become long 
        distance calls billed at the applicable rate of the customer's 
        long distance carrier. 
           Sec. 2.  [237.435] [ANNUAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNDING 
        CERTIFICATION.] 
           In determining whether to provide the annual certification 
        of any eligible telecommunications carrier for continued receipt 
        of federal universal service funding, the commission shall apply 
        the same standards and criteria to all eligible 
        telecommunications carriers. 

                                   ARTICLE 5
                          WIRELESS CONSUMER PROTECTION
           Section 1.  [325F.695] [CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR WIRELESS 
        CUSTOMERS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] The definitions in this 
        subdivision apply to this section. 
           (a) "Contract" means an oral or written agreement of 
        definite duration between a provider and a customer, detailing 
        the wireless telecommunications services to be provided to the 
        customer and the terms and conditions for provision of those 
        services. 
           (b) "Wireless telecommunications services" means commercial 
        mobile radio services as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, 
        title 47, part 20. 
           (c) "Provider" means a provider of wireless 
        telecommunications services. 
           (d) "Substantive change" means a modification to, or 
        addition or deletion of, a term or condition in a contract that 
        could result in an increase in the charge to the customer under 
        that contract or that could result in an extension of the term 
        of that contract.  "Substantive change" includes a modification 
        in the provider's administration of an existing contract term or 
        condition.  A price increase that includes only the actual 
        amount of any increase in taxes or fees, which the government 
        requires the provider to impose upon the customer, is not a 
        substantive change for purposes of this section. 
           Subd. 2.  [COPY OF CONTRACT.] A provider must provide each 
        customer with a written copy of the customer's contract between 
        the provider and the customer within 15 days of the date the 
        contract is entered into.  The provider may meet the requirement 
        to provide a written copy of the contract by providing an 
        electronic copy of the contract at the customer's request.  A 
        provider must maintain verification that the customer accepted 
        the terms of the contract for the duration of the contract 
        period.  
           Subd. 3.  [PROVIDER-INITIATED SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE.] A 
        provider must notify the customer in writing of any proposed 
        substantive change in the contract between the provider and the 
        customer 60 days before the change is proposed to take effect. 
        The change only becomes effective if the customer opts in to the 
        change by affirmatively accepting the change prior to the 
        proposed effective date in writing or by oral authorization 
        which is recorded by the provider and maintained for the 
        duration of the contract period.  If the customer does not 
        affirmatively opt in to accept the proposed substantive change, 
        then the original contract terms shall apply. 
           Subd. 4.  [CUSTOMER-INITIATED CHANGE.] If the customer 
        proposes to the provider any change in the terms of an existing 
        contract, the provider must clearly disclose to the customer 
        orally or electronically any substantive change to the existing 
        contract terms that would result from the customer's proposed 
        change.  The customer's proposed change is only effective if the 
        provider agrees to the proposed change and the customer agrees 
        to any resulting changes in the contract.  The provider must 
        maintain recorded or electronic verification of the disclosure 
        for the duration of the contract period. 
           Subd. 5.  [EXPIRATION.] This section expires August 1, 2007.
           Sec. 2.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 1 is effective on July 1, 2004, and applies to 
        contracts for wireless service entered into on or after May 1, 
        2004. 

                                   ARTICLE 6
                            REDUCED RATE REGULATION
           Section 1.  [237.411] [REDUCED RATE REGULATION FOR CERTAIN 
        BUSINESS CUSTOMERS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [BUSINESS CUSTOMER; DEFINED.] For the 
        purpose of this section, "business customer" means a customer 
        subscribing to four or more business lines.  
           Subd. 2.  [COMPETITIVE AREA; DEFINED.] A "competitive area" 
        is an exchange located: 
           (1) in the metropolitan area extended area service 
        toll-free calling area; or 
           (2) in the cities of Duluth or St. Cloud.  
           Subd. 3.  [REDUCED RATE REGULATION.] The rates, prices, 
        tariffs, or charges to a business customer in a competitive area 
        by a telephone company or a telecommunications carrier offering 
        local service are only subject to sections 237.07, subdivision 
        1; 237.66; and 237.663, and are not subject to any rules 
        imposing rate or price restrictions beyond those sections or to 
        other order or investigation of local rates under section 
        237.081.  
           Subd. 4.  [PROTECTION FROM ANTICOMPETITIVE PRICING.] This 
        subdivision applies to prices governed by subdivision 3.  A 
        telephone company must not price its local telephone services, 
        whether offered singly or as part of a bundle of services, below 
        the total service long-run incremental cost of providing the 
        service or services.  
           Subd. 5.  [ENFORCEMENT.] (a) The powers and duties granted 
        to the commission by section 237.081 apply to violations or 
        suspected violations of this section.  A person aggrieved by a 
        violation of this section may file a complaint as provided in 
        section 237.081, which shall be treated as any other complaint 
        filed under that section.  The commissioner of commerce may 
        investigate violations or alleged violations of this section. 
           (b) Sections 237.461 and 237.462 apply to violations of 
        this section.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 237.462, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PENALTY ORDERS.] After 
        a proceeding under section 237.081, the commission may issue an 
        order administratively assessing monetary penalties for knowing 
        and intentional violations of: 
           (1) sections 237.09, 237.121, and 237.16, and 237.411 and 
        any rules adopted under those sections; 
           (2) any standards, limitations, or conditions established 
        in a commission order pursuant to sections 237.09, 237.121, and 
        237.16, and 237.411; 
           (3) an approved interconnection agreement if the violation 
        is material; and 
           (4) any duty or obligation of a telephone company, a 
        telecommunications carrier, or a telecommunications provider 
        imposed upon such telephone company, telecommunications carrier, 
        or telecommunications provider by section 251, paragraph (a), 
        (b), or (c) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that relates 
        to service provided in the state.  The penalty order must be 
        issued as provided in this section. 
           Sec. 3.  Laws 1999, chapter 224, section 7, is amended to 
        read: 
           Sec. 7.  [SUNSET.] 
           Sections 2 and 4 expire on August 1, 2005, and Minnesota 
        Statutes 1998, sections 237.63, 237.65, and 237.68, expire on 
        December 31, 2004. 
           Sec. 4.  [PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION RESPONSIBILITIES.] 
           (a) By January 15, 2005, the Public Utilities Commission 
        must develop, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney 
        General and the Department of Commerce, a means for resolution 
        of small consumer complaints with a monetary reimbursement 
        component.  
           (b) By January 15, 2005, the Public Utilities Commission 
        must develop and recommend to the legislature a plan for 
        increasing the number of plans offering flat-rate statewide 
        calling, making them available to all customers in Minnesota, 
        and addressing methods of reducing the cost of such plans. 
           Sec. 5.  [EXPIRATION.] 
           This article expires August 1, 2010. 

                                   ARTICLE 7 
                              CABLE SYSTEM CHANGES 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.02, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [CABLE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM.] (a) "Cable 
        communications system" means a system which operates that (1) 
        provides 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 company system or by another party, and 
        distributing person, and (2) distributes 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.  
           (b) This definition does not include: 
           (a) (1) a system which that serves fewer than 50 
        subscribers or a system which that serves more than 50 but fewer 
        than 1,000 subscribers if the governing bodies of all political 
        subdivisions served by the system, vote, by resolution, to 
        remove the system from the provisions of this chapter.; provided 
        that: 
           (i) no part of a system, nor any area within the 
        municipality served by the system, may be removed from the 
        provisions of this chapter if more than 1,000 subscribers are 
        served by the system.; and 
           (ii) any system which serves serving more than 50 but fewer 
        than 1,000 subscribers that has been removed from the provisions 
        of this chapter shall be returned becomes subject to the 
        provisions of this chapter if the governing bodies of 50 percent 
        or more of the political subdivisions served by the system vote, 
        by resolution, in favor of the return; 
           (b) (2) a master antenna television system; 
           (c) (3) a specialized closed-circuit system which that does 
        not use the public rights-of-way for the construction of its 
        physical plant; and 
           (d) (4) a translator system which that receives and 
        rebroadcasts over-the-air signals.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.03, is 
        amended to read: 
           238.03 [APPLICABILITY.] 
           This chapter applies to every cable communications system 
        and every cable communications company, as defined in section 
        238.02, operating within the state, including a cable 
        communications company which constructs, operates and maintains 
        a cable communications system comprised in whole or in part 
        through the of facilities of a person franchised to offer common 
        or contract carrier services subject to regulation under chapter 
        237.  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. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [MUNICIPAL OPERATION.] Nothing in this chapter 
        shall be construed to limit Unless otherwise prohibited by 
        applicable law, any municipality from the right to may 
        construct, purchase, and operate cable communications systems, 
        or, to operate facilities and channels for community television, 
        including, but not limited to, public, educational, and 
        governmental access and local origination programming.  Any 
        municipal system, including the operation of community 
        television by a municipality, shall be is subject to this 
        chapter to the same extent as would any nonpublic cable 
        communications system. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.08, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [FEE, TAX, OR CHARGE.] Nothing in this chapter 
        shall be construed to limit the power of any municipality to 
        impose upon any person operating a cable communications company 
        system a fee, tax, or charge. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.081, is 
        amended to read: 
           238.081 [FRANCHISE PROCEDURE.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PUBLICATION OF NOTICE.] The franchising 
        authority shall have published once each week for two successive 
        weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in each municipality 
        within the cable service territory, a notice of intent 
        to consider an application for a franchise, requesting 
        applications for the franchise other than a franchise renewal 
        pursuant to the United States Code, title 47, section 546.  
           Subd. 2.  [REQUIRED INFORMATION IN NOTICE.] The notice must 
        include at least the following information:  
           (1) the name of the municipality making the request; 
           (2) the closing date for submission of applications; 
           (3) a statement of the application fee, if any, and the 
        method for its submission; 
           (4) a statement by the franchising authority of the desired 
        system design and services to be offered; 
           (5) a statement by the franchising authority of criteria 
        and priorities against which the applicants for the franchise 
        must be evaluated; 
           (6) a statement that applications for the franchise must 
        contain at least the information required by subdivision 4; 
           (7) the date, time, and place for the public hearing, to 
        hear proposals from franchise applicants; and 
           (8) the name, address, and telephone number of the 
        individuals who may be contacted for further information.  
           Subd. 3.  [OTHER RECIPIENTS OF NOTICE.] In addition to the 
        published notice, the franchising authority shall mail copies of 
        the notice of intent to franchise to any person it has 
        identified as being a potential candidate for the franchise.  
           Subd. 4.  [CONTENTS OF FRANCHISING PROPOSAL.] (a) The 
        franchising authority shall require that proposals for a cable 
        communications franchise be notarized and contain, but not 
        necessarily be limited to, the following information: 
           (1) plans for channel capacity, including both the total 
        number of channels capable of being energized in the system and 
        the number of channels to be energized immediately; 
           (2) a statement of the television and radio broadcast 
        signals for which permission to carry will be requested from the 
        Federal Communications Commission; 
           (3) a description of the proposed system design and planned 
        operation, including at least the following items: 
           (i) the general area for location of antennae and the head 
        end, if known; 
           (ii) the schedule for activating two-way capacity; 
           (iii) the type of automated services to be provided; 
           (iv) the number of channels and services to be made 
        available for access cable broadcasting; and 
           (v) a schedule of charges for facilities and staff 
        assistance for access cable broadcasting; 
           (4) the terms and conditions under which particular service 
        is to be provided to governmental and educational entities; 
           (5) a schedule of proposed rates in relation to the 
        services to be provided, and a proposed policy regarding unusual 
        or difficult connection of services; 
           (6) a time schedule for construction of the entire system 
        with the time sequence for wiring the various parts of the area 
        requested to be served in the request for proposals; 
           (7) a statement indicating the applicant's qualifications 
        and experience in the cable communications field, if any; 
           (8) an identification of the municipalities in which the 
        applicant either owns or operates a cable communications system, 
        directly or indirectly, or has outstanding franchises for which 
        no system has been built; 
           (9) plans for financing the proposed system, which must 
        indicate every significant anticipated source of capital and 
        significant limitations or conditions with respect to the 
        availability of the indicated sources of capital; 
           (10) a statement of ownership detailing the corporate 
        organization of the applicant, if any, including the names and 
        addresses of officers and directors and the number of shares 
        held by each officer or director, and intracompany relationship 
        including a parent, subsidiary, or affiliated company; and 
           (11) a notation and explanation of omissions or other 
        variations with respect to the requirements of the proposal. 
           (b) Substantive amendments may not be made in a proposal 
        after a proposal has been submitted to the franchising authority 
        and before award of a franchise Upon submission of a proposal, 
        the municipality and applicant may negotiate franchise terms.  
           Subd. 5.  [TIME LIMIT TO SUBMIT APPLICATION.] The 
        franchising authority shall allow at least 20 days from the 
        first date of published notice to the closing date for 
        submitting applications.  
           Subd. 6.  [PUBLIC HEARING ON FRANCHISE.] A public hearing 
        before the franchising authority affording reasonable notice and 
        a reasonable opportunity to be heard with respect to all 
        applications for the franchise must be completed at least seven 
        days before the introduction of the adoption of a franchise 
        ordinance in the proceedings of the franchising authority.  
           Subd. 7.  [AWARD OF FRANCHISE.] Franchises may be 
        awarded only by ordinance or other official action by the 
        franchising authority.  
           Subd. 8.  [COSTS OF AWARDING FRANCHISE.] Nothing in this 
        section prohibits a franchising authority from recovering from a 
        successful an applicant the entire reasonable and necessary 
        costs of the entire process of awarding the processing a cable 
        communications franchise.  
           Subd. 9.  [FRANCHISING NONPROFIT OR MUNICIPALLY OWNED 
        SYSTEM.] Nothing contained in this section prohibits a 
        franchising authority from franchising a nonprofit or 
        municipally owned system.  The municipality or nonprofit entity 
        is considered an applicant for purposes of this section.  
           Subd. 10.  [FRANCHISE; JOINT POWERS.] In the cases of 
        municipalities acting in concert, the municipalities may 
        delegate to another entity such any duties, responsibilities, 
        privileges, or activities described in this section, if such the 
        delegation is proper according to state and local law.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [WRITTEN APPROVAL OF FRANCHISING AUTHORITY.] A 
        sale or transfer of a franchise, including a sale or transfer by 
        means of a fundamental corporate change, requires the written 
        approval of the franchising authority.  The parties to the sale 
        or transfer of a franchise shall make a written request to the 
        franchising authority for its approval of the sale or transfer.  
        The franchising authority shall reply in writing within 30 days 
        of the request and shall indicate its approval of the request or 
        its determination that a public hearing is necessary if it 
        determines that a sale or transfer of a franchise may adversely 
        affect the company's subscribers.  The franchising authority 
        shall conduct a public hearing on the request within 30 days of 
        that determination.  
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.083, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF TRANSFER REQUEST.] Within 
        30 days after the public hearing, The franchising authority 
        shall approve or deny in writing the sale or transfer request.  
        The approval must not be unreasonably withheld. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.084, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ALL SYSTEMS.] The following requirements 
        apply to all classes A, B, and C cable communications systems 
        unless provided otherwise: 
           (a) a provision that the franchise complies shall comply 
        with the Minnesota franchise standards contained in this 
        section; 
           (b) a provision requiring the franchisee and the 
        franchising authority to conform to state laws and rules 
        regarding cable communications not later than one year after 
        they become effective, unless otherwise stated, and to conform 
        to federal laws and regulations regarding cable as they become 
        effective; 
           (c) a provision limiting the initial and renewal franchise 
        term to not more than 15 years each; 
           (d) a provision specifying that the franchise is must be 
        nonexclusive; 
           (e) a provision prohibiting sale or transfer of the 
        franchise or sale or transfer of stock so as to create a new 
        controlling interest under section 238.083, except at the 
        approval of the franchising authority, which approval must not 
        be unreasonably withheld, and conditioned that the sale or 
        transfer is completed pursuant to section 238.083; 
           (f) a provision granting the franchising authority 
        collecting a franchise fee the authority to audit the 
        franchisee's accounting and financial records upon reasonable 
        notice, and requiring that the franchisee file with the 
        franchising authority annually reports of gross subscriber 
        revenues and other information as the franchising authority 
        deems appropriate; 
           (g) provisions specifying: 
           (1) current subscriber charges or that the current charges 
        are available for public inspection in the municipality; 
           (2) the length and terms of residential subscriber 
        contracts, if they exist, or that the current length and terms 
        of residential subscriber contracts are available for public 
        inspection in the municipality; and 
           (3) the procedure by which subscriber charges are 
        established, unless such a provision is contrary to state or 
        federal law; 
           (h) a provision indicating by title the office or officer 
        of the franchising authority that is responsible for the 
        continuing administration of the franchise; 
           (i) a provision requiring the franchisee to indemnify and 
        hold harmless the franchising authority during the term of the 
        franchise, and to maintain throughout the term of the franchise, 
        liability insurance in an amount as the franchising authority 
        may require insuring both the franchising authority and the 
        franchisee with regard to damages and penalties which that they 
        may legally be required to pay as a result of the exercise of 
        the franchise; 
           (j) a provision that at the time the franchise becomes 
        effective and thereafter until the franchisee has liquidated all 
        of its obligation with the franchising authority, the franchisee 
        shall furnish a performance bond, certificate of deposit, or 
        other type of instrument approved by the franchising authority 
        in an amount as the franchising authority deems to be adequate 
        compensation for damages resulting from the franchisee's 
        nonperformance.  The franchising authority may, from year to 
        year and in its sole discretion, reduce the amount of the 
        performance bond or instrument; 
           (k) a provision that nothing contained in the franchise 
        relieves a person from liability arising out of the failure to 
        exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring the franchisee's 
        facilities while performing work connected with grading, 
        regrading, or changing the line of a street or public place or 
        with the construction or reconstruction of a sewer or water 
        system; 
           (l) a provision that the franchisee's technical ability, 
        financial condition, and legal qualification were considered and 
        approved by the franchising authority in a full public 
        proceeding that afforded reasonable notice and a reasonable 
        opportunity to be heard; 
           (m) a provision requiring the construction of a cable 
        system with a channel capacity available for immediate or 
        potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of bandwidth, the 
        equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels.  For purposes of 
        this section, a cable system with a channel capacity, available 
        for immediate or potential use, equal to a minimum of 72 MHz of 
        bandwidth means:  the provision of a distribution system 
        designed and constructed so that a minimum of 72 MHz of 
        bandwidth, the equivalent of 12 television broadcast channels, 
        can be put into use with only the addition of the appropriate 
        headend equipment; 
           (n) a provision in initial franchises that there be a full 
        description of the system proposed for construction identifying 
        the system capacity and technical design and a schedule showing: 
           (1) that for franchise areas which will be served by a 
        system proposed to have fewer than 100 plant miles of cable: 
           (i) that within 90 days of the granting of the franchise, 
        the franchisee shall apply for the necessary governmental 
        permits, licenses, certificates, and authorizations; 
           (ii) that energized trunk cable must be extended 
        substantially throughout the authorized area within one year 
        after receipt of the necessary governmental permits, licenses, 
        certificates, and authorizations and that persons along the 
        route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" as 
        desired during the same period of time; and 
           (iii) that the requirement of this section may be waived by 
        the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen 
        events or acts of God construction of the cable communications 
        system must commence no later than 240 days after the granting 
        of the franchise; or 
           (2) that for franchise areas which will be served by a 
        system proposed to have 100 plant miles of cable or more, a 
        provision: construction of the cable communications system must 
        proceed at a reasonable rate of not less than 50 plant miles 
        constructed per year of the franchise term; 
           (i) (3) that within 90 days of the granting of the 
        franchise, the franchisee shall apply for the necessary 
        governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and 
        authorizations; 
           (ii) that engineering and design must be completed within 
        one year after the granting of the franchise and that a 
        significant amount of construction must be completed within one 
        year after the franchisee's receipt of the necessary 
        governmental permits, licenses, certificates, and 
        authorizations; 
           (iii) that energized trunk cable must be extended 
        substantially throughout the authorized area within five years 
        after commencement of construction and that persons along the 
        route of the energized cable will have individual "drops" within 
        the same period of time, if desired construction throughout the 
        authorized franchise area must be substantially completed within 
        five years of the granting of the franchise; and 
           (iv) (4) that the requirement of this section be waived by 
        the franchising authority only upon occurrence of unforeseen 
        events or acts of God; 
           (o) (n) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
        a provision that the franchisee shall obtain a permit from the 
        proper municipal authority before commencing construction of a 
        cable communications system, including the opening or 
        disturbance of a street, sidewalk, driveway, or public place. 
        The provision must specify remedies available to the franchising 
        authority in cases where the franchisee fails to meet the 
        conditions of the permit; 
           (p) (o) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
        a provision that wires, conduits, cable, and other property and 
        facilities of the franchisee be located, constructed, installed, 
        and maintained in compliance with applicable codes.  The 
        provision must also specify that the franchisee keep and 
        maintain its property so as not to unnecessarily interfere with 
        the usual and customary trade, traffic, or travel upon the 
        streets and public places of the franchise area or endanger the 
        life or property of any person; 
           (q) (p) unless otherwise already provided for by local law, 
        a provision that the franchising authority and the franchisee 
        shall establish a procedure in the franchise for the relocation 
        or removal of the franchisee's wires, conduits, cables, and 
        other property located in the street, right-of-way, or public 
        place whenever the franchising authority undertakes public 
        improvements which that affect the cable equipment; 
           (r) (q) a provision incorporating by reference as a minimum 
        the technical standards promulgated by the Federal 
        Communications Commission relating to cable communications 
        systems contained in subpart K of part 76 of the Federal 
        Communications Commission's rules and regulations relating to 
        cable communications systems and found in Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 47, sections 76.601 to 76.617.  The results 
        of tests required by the Federal Communications Commission must 
        be filed within ten days of the conduct of the tests with the 
        franchising authority; 
           (s) (r) a provision establishing how the franchising 
        authority and the person operating a cable communications 
        company system shall determine who is to bear the costs of 
        required special testing; 
           (t) a provision pertaining to the franchisee's construction 
        and maintenance of a cable communications system having the 
        technical capacity for nonvoice return communications which, for 
        purposes of this section, means the provision of appropriate 
        system design techniques with the installation of cable and 
        amplifiers suitable for the subsequent insertion of necessary 
        nonvoice communications electronic modules.  
        In cases where an initial franchise is granted, the franchisee 
        shall provide a cable communications system having the technical 
        capacity for nonvoice return communications. 
        When a franchise is renewed, sold, or transferred and is served 
        by a system that does not have the technical capacity for 
        nonvoice return communications, the franchising authority shall 
        determine when and if the technical capacity for nonvoice return 
        communications is needed after appropriate public proceedings at 
        the municipal level giving reasonable notice and a reasonable 
        opportunity to be heard; 
           (u) (s) a provision stating that no signals of a class IV 
        cable communications channel may be transmitted from a 
        subscriber terminal for purposes of monitoring individual 
        viewing patterns or practices without the express written 
        permission of the subscriber.  The request for permission must 
        be contained in a separate document with a prominent statement 
        that the subscriber is authorizing the permission in full 
        knowledge of its provisions.  The written permission must be for 
        a limited period of time not to exceed one year, which is 
        renewable at the option of the subscriber.  No penalty may be 
        invoked for a subscriber's failure to provide or renew the 
        authorization.  The authorization is revocable at any time by 
        the subscriber without penalty of any kind.  The permission must 
        be required for each type or classification of class IV cable 
        communications activity planned for the purpose; 
           (1) No information or data obtained by monitoring 
        transmission of a signal from a subscriber terminal, including 
        but not limited to lists of the names and addresses of the 
        subscribers or lists that identify the viewing habits of 
        subscribers, may be sold or otherwise made available to any 
        party person other than to the company and its employees for 
        internal business use, or to the subscriber who is the subject 
        of that information, unless the company has received specific 
        written authorization from the subscriber to make the data 
        available; 
           (2) Written permission from the subscriber must not be 
        required for the systems conducting systemwide or individually 
        addressed electronic sweeps for the purpose of verifying system 
        integrity or monitoring for the purpose of billing. 
        Confidentiality of this information is subject to clause (1); 
           (3) For purposes of this provision, a "class IV cable 
        communications channel" means a signaling path provided by a 
        cable communications system to transmit signals of any type from 
        a subscriber terminal to another point in the communications 
        system; 
           (v) (t) a provision specifying the procedure for the 
        investigation and resolution by the franchisee of complaints 
        regarding quality of service, equipment malfunction, billing 
        disputes, and other matters; 
           (w) (u) a provision requiring that at least a toll-free or 
        collect telephone number for the reception of complaints be 
        provided to the subscriber and that the franchisee shall 
        maintain a repair service capable of responding to subscriber 
        complaints or requests for service within 24 hours after receipt 
        of the complaint or request.  The A provision must also state 
        who will bear the costs included in making these repairs, 
        adjustments, or installations; 
           (x) (v) a provision granting the franchising authority the 
        right to terminate and cancel the franchise and the rights and 
        privileges of the franchise if the franchisee substantially 
        violates a provision of the franchise ordinance, attempts to 
        evade the provisions of the franchise ordinance, or practices 
        fraud or deceit upon the franchising authority.  The 
        municipality shall provide the franchisee with a written notice 
        of the cause for termination and its intention to terminate the 
        franchise and shall allow the franchisee a minimum of 30 days 
        after service of the notice in which to correct the violation.  
        The franchisee must be provided with an opportunity to be heard 
        at a public hearing before the governing body of the 
        municipality before the termination of the franchise; 
           (y) (w) a provision that no person operating a cable 
        communications company system, notwithstanding any provision in 
        a franchise, may abandon a cable communications service system 
        or a portion of it without having given three months prior 
        written notice to the franchising authority.  No person 
        operating a cable communications company system may abandon a 
        cable communications service system or a portion of it without 
        compensating the franchising authority for damages resulting to 
        it from the abandonment; 
           (z) (x) a provision requiring that upon termination or 
        forfeiture of a franchise, unless otherwise required by 
        applicable law, the franchisee shall remove its cable, wires, 
        and appliances from the streets, alleys, and other public places 
        within the franchise area if the franchising authority so 
        requests, and a procedure to be followed in the event the 
        franchisee fails to remove its cable, wires, and appliances from 
        the streets, alleys, and other public places within the 
        franchise area; 
           (aa) (y) a provision that when a franchise or cable system 
        is offered for sale to be transferred or sold, the franchising 
        authority shall have has the right to purchase the system; 
           (bb) (z) a provision establishing the minimum number of 
        access channels that the franchisee shall make available.  This 
        provision must require that the franchisee shall provide to each 
        of its subscribers who receive some or all of the services 
        offered on the system, reception on at least one specially 
        designated access channel.  The specially designated access 
        channel may be used by local educational authorities and local 
        government on a first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory 
        basis.  During those hours that the specially designated access 
        channel is not being used by the local educational authorities 
        or local government, the franchisee shall lease time to 
        commercial or noncommercial users on a first-come, first-served, 
        nondiscriminatory basis if the demand for that time arises.  The 
        franchisee may also use this specially designated access channel 
        for local origination during those hours when the channel is not 
        in use by local educational authorities, local government, or 
        commercial or noncommercial users who have leased time.  The 
        provision may require the franchisee to provide separate public 
        access channels available for use by the general public on a 
        first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory basis; local 
        educational access channels; local governmental access channels; 
        and channels available for lease on a first-come, first-served, 
        nondiscriminatory basis by commercial and noncommercial users.  
        The provision may require that whenever the specially designated 
        access channel required by this paragraph is in use during 80 
        percent of the weekdays, Monday through Friday, for 80 percent 
        of the time during a consecutive three-hour period for six weeks 
        running, and there is a demand for use of an additional channel 
        for the same purpose, the franchisee has six months in which to 
        provide a new, specially designated access channel for the same 
        purpose; provided that, the provision of the additional channel 
        or channels does not require the cable system to install 
        converters.  The VHF spectrum must be used for one of the 
        public, educational, or governmental specially designated access 
        channel channels required in this paragraph.  The provision must 
        also require that the franchisee shall establish rules for the 
        administration of the specially designated access channel. 
        Franchisees providing only alarm services or only data 
        transmission services for computer-operated functions do not 
        need to provide access channel reception to alarm and data 
        service subscribers., unless such channel is administered by a 
        municipality; 
           (aa) a provision specifying the minimum equipment that the 
        franchisee shall make available for public use.  The provision 
        may require the franchisee to make readily available for public 
        use at least the minimal equipment necessary for the production 
        of programming and playback of prerecorded programs for the 
        access channels.  The provision may require that, upon request, 
        the franchisee, at minimum, shall also make readily available 
        the minimum equipment necessary to make it possible to record 
        programs at remote locations with battery-operated portable 
        equipment; and 
           (bb) for a franchise in the metropolitan area, as defined 
        in section 473.121, a provision designating the standard VHF 
        channel 6 for uniform regional channel usage as required in 
        section 238.43. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.11, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2. [ACCESS CHANNEL.] No cable communications 
        company system may 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 the person operating a cable communications 
        company system nor the officers, directors, or employees of the 
        cable communications system is liable for any penalties or 
        damages arising from programming content not originating from or 
        produced by the cable communications company system and shown on 
        any public access channel, education access channel, government 
        access channel, leased access channel, or regional channel. 
           Sec. 10.  [238.115] [CABLE PROVIDER COMPLAINTS.] 
           A cable communications company holding a franchise to 
        provide cable communications services in any area of this state 
        must immediately provide a consumer complaint telephone number 
        to any person who calls the company or its agent and asks for a 
        consumer complaint number.  The number provided must be the 
        telephone number of a person or agency that is unaffiliated with 
        the cable communications company and that is organized to 
        provide assistance to complaining consumers. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.22, 
        subdivision 13, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 13.  [PROPERTY OWNER.] "Property owner" means any 
        person with a recorded interest in a multiple dwelling complex, 
        or person known to the person operating a cable communications 
        company system to be an owner, or the authorized agent of the 
        person.  
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.23, is 
        amended to read: 
           238.23 [ACCESS REQUIRED.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROVISION OF ACCESS.] A property owner or 
        other person controlling access shall provide a cable 
        communications company system access to the property owner's 
        multiple dwelling complex.  The access provided must be 
        perpetual and freely transferable by one person operating a 
        cable communications company system to another.  A cable 
        communications company system granted access, and its successors 
        in interest, must fully comply with sections 238.22 to 238.27.  
           Subd. 2.  [RESIDENT'S RIGHTS.] The intent of sections 
        238.22 to 238.27 is to give residents the freedom to choose 
        among competing cable communications services and nothing in 
        sections 238.22 to 238.27 shall be interpreted to require 
        requires residents to hook up or subscribe to any services 
        offered by any cable communications company system or 
        alternative provider of cable communications services. 
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [INSTALLATION; BOND.] The facilities must be 
        installed in an expeditious and workmanlike manner, must comply 
        with applicable codes, and must be installed parallel to utility 
        lines when economically feasible.  A property owner may require 
        a person operating a cable communications company system to post 
        a bond or equivalent security in an amount not exceeding the 
        estimated cost of installation of the cable communications 
        facilities on the premises.  Any bond filed by a cable 
        communications company system with a municipality which that 
        would provide coverage to the property owner as provided under 
        this subdivision shall be considered to fulfill fulfills the 
        requirements of this subdivision.  
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [INDEMNIFY FOR DAMAGE.] A person operating a 
        cable communications company system shall indemnify a property 
        owner for damage caused by the company in the installation, 
        operation, maintenance, or removal of its facilities.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [MASTER ANTENNA TELEVISION SYSTEM.] Nothing in 
        sections 238.22 to 238.27 precludes a property owner from 
        entering into an agreement for use of a master antenna 
        television system by a person operating a cable communications 
        company system or other television communications service.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [NOT RETROACTIVE.] Nothing in sections 238.22 to 
        238.27 affects the validity of an agreement effective before 
        June 15, 1983 between a property owner, a person operating a 
        cable communications company system, or any other person 
        providing cable communications services on or within the 
        premises of the property owner.  
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.24, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [CHANNEL CAPACITY.] (a) A property owner must 
        provide access by to a franchised person operating a cable 
        communications company system, as required under section 238.23, 
        only if that cable company installs equipment with channel 
        capacity sufficient to provide access to other providers of 
        television programming or cable communications services so that 
        residents or association members have a choice of alternative 
        providers of those services.  If the equipment is installed, the 
        cable communications company system shall allow alternative 
        providers to use the equipment.  If some of the residents or 
        association members choose to subscribe to the services of an 
        alternative provider, the cable company that installed the 
        equipment shall must be reimbursed by the other providers for 
        the cost of equipment and installation on the property on a pro 
        rata basis which that reflects the number of subscribers of each 
        provider on that property to the total number of subscribers on 
        that property.  In determining the pro rata amount of 
        reimbursement by any alternative provider, the cost of equipment 
        and installation shall must be reduced to the extent of 
        cumulative depreciation of that equipment at the time the 
        alternative provider begins providing service.  
           (b) If equipment is already installed as of June 15, 1983, 
        with channel capacity sufficient to allow access to alternative 
        providers, the access and pro rata reimbursement provisions of 
        paragraph (a) apply.  
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROVIDING ALTERNATIVE SERVICE.] Other 
        providers of television programming or cable communications 
        services shall notify the person operating a cable 
        communications company system when a resident or association 
        member occupying a dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling complex 
        requests the services provided for by this section or section 
        238.241.  After reaching agreement with the alternative service 
        provider for reimbursement to be paid for use of the equipment, 
        the cable communications company system shall make available the 
        equipment necessary to provide the alternative service without 
        unreasonable delay.  
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.242, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [FINANCIAL RECORDS MADE AVAILABLE.] The person 
        operating a cable communications company system, upon written 
        request, shall make available to the alternative provider 
        financial records supporting the reimbursement cost requested.  
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [SERVICE OF PETITION.] The petition must be 
        served upon all persons named in the petition as property owners 
        in the same manner as a summons in a civil action; except that, 
        service may be made upon a property owner by three weeks' 
        published notice if the person operating a cable communications 
        company system, its or the person's agent or attorney, files an 
        affidavit stating on belief that the property owner is not a 
        resident of the state and that the company has mailed a copy of 
        the notice to the property owner at the property owner's place 
        of residence, or that after diligent inquiry the property 
        owner's place of residence cannot be ascertained by the 
        company.  If the state is a property owner, the notice must be 
        served upon the attorney general.  Any property owner not served 
        as provided under this paragraph is not bound by the proceeding 
        unless the property owner voluntarily appears therein in the 
        proceeding.  
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.25, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [FINAL CERTIFICATE.] Upon completion of the 
        proceedings, the attorney for the person operating the cable 
        communications company system shall make a certificate 
        describing the access acquired and the purpose or purposes for 
        which acquired, and reciting the fact of final payment of all 
        awards or judgments in relation thereto.  The certificate must 
        be filed with the court administrator and a certified copy 
        thereof filed for record with the county recorder.  The record 
        is notice to all parties of the access to the premises described 
        in the petition.  
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.] There is a 
        long-standing legislative policy in the state of Minnesota to 
        provide for the dedication or other provision of easements and 
        public rights-of-way required by public utilities and cable 
        communications companies systems.  Except for applicable 
        governmental rules, these easements do not include any 
        limitation on the type, number, or size of cables or related 
        cable communication system components.  There is a public 
        understanding and acceptance of the need of public utilities and 
        cable communications companies systems to have the ability to 
        use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way in order 
        to provide new and improved cable communications services made 
        possible by technological developments and to make changes to 
        the cables or related cable communication systems components. 
        Changing technology has caused and will continue to cause over 
        time the development of new cable communications services 
        requiring changing uses of existing utility easements and public 
        rights-of-way.  Cable communications companies systems have a 
        need to use existing utility easements and public rights-of-way 
        in order to deliver their services to the public.  The addition 
        of cable communications system components does not constitute an 
        unanticipated or added burden on the real estate subject to the 
        easements or public rights-of-way.  
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.35, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [RESTRICTIONS ON USE.] (a) As a condition of 
        using any utility easement, a cable communications company shall 
        be system is subject to any burdens, duties, or obligations 
        specified in the easement of the grantee of the easement.  
           (b) Subject to any applicable rights and obligations of 
        sections 237.162 and 237.163 and any local right-of-way 
        ordinance adopted under those statutes, a person operating a 
        cable communications company system shall restore the real 
        estate, and any landscaping or improvements thereon, to the 
        condition they were in prior to entry within 30 days of 
        completing the installation of the cables and related cable 
        communications system components upon that real estate and to 
        make changes to the cables or related cable communication 
        systems components.  Changing technology has caused and will 
        continue to cause over time the development of new cable 
        communications services requiring changing uses of existing 
        utility easements.  Restoration which cannot be completed during 
        the winter months must be accomplished as promptly as weather 
        conditions permit.  
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.36, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [CABLE COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY'S SYSTEM'S 
        EQUIPMENT.] "Cable communications company's system's equipment" 
        means aerial wires, cables, amplifiers, associated power supply 
        equipment, and other transmission apparatus necessary for the 
        proper operation of the cable communications system in a 
        franchised area. 
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.39, is 
        amended to read: 
           238.39 [LEGAL AUTHORITY.] 
           Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 
        provision that the cable communications company system shall 
        submit to the public utility company evidence of the cable 
        communications company's system's lawful authority to place, 
        maintain, and operate its facilities within public streets, 
        highways, and other thoroughfares and shall secure the legally 
        necessary permits and consents from federal, state, county, and 
        municipal authorities to construct, maintain, and operate 
        facilities at the locations of poles or conduit systems of the 
        public utility company which that it uses.  The parties to the 
        agreement shall at all times observe and comply with, and the 
        provisions of a pole, duct, and conduit agreement are subject 
        to, the laws, ordinances, and rules which that in any manner 
        affect the rights and obligations of the parties to the 
        agreement, so long as the laws, ordinances, or rules remain in 
        effect. 
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.40, is 
        amended to read: 
           238.40 [LIABILITY; INDEMNIFY PUBLIC UTILITY.] 
           (a) Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 
        provision that the cable communications company system shall 
        defend, indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility 
        from and against any and all claims and demands for damages to 
        property and injury or death to persons, including payments made 
        under any worker's compensation law or under any plan for 
        employees' disability and death benefits, which may arise out of 
        or be caused: 
           (1) by the erection, maintenance, presence, use, or removal 
        of the cable communications company's system's cable, equipment, 
        and facilities or by the proximity of the cables, equipment, and 
        facilities of the parties to the agreement,; or 
           (2) by any act of the cable communications company system 
        on or in the vicinity of the public utility company's poles and 
        conduit system, in the performance of the agreement.  Nothing 
        contained in this section relieves the public utility company 
        from liability for the negligence of the public utility company 
        or anyone acting under its direction and control.  
           (b) The cable communications company system shall also 
        indemnify, protect, and save harmless the public utility: 
           (1) from any and all claims and demands which that arise 
        directly or indirectly from the operation of the cable 
        communications company's system's facilities including taxes, 
        special charges by others, claims, and demands (i) for damages 
        or loss for infringement of copyright, (ii) for libel and 
        slander, (iii) for unauthorized use of television broadcast 
        programs, and (iv) for unauthorized use of other program 
        material,; and 
           (2) from and against all claims and demands for 
        infringement of patents with respect to the manufacture, use, 
        and operation of the cable communications equipment in 
        combination with the public utility company's poles, conduit 
        system, or otherwise. 
           (c) Nothing contained in this section relieves the public 
        utility company from liability for the negligence of the public 
        utility company or anyone acting under its direction and control.
           Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 238.43, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION REGIONAL CHANNEL ENTITY.] For 
        the purposes of this section "Regional channel entity" or 
        "entity" means an independent, nonprofit corporation to govern 
        the operation of the regional channel. 
           Sec. 28.  [REVISOR INSTRUCTIONS.] 
           (a) The revisor of statutes shall delete the words "shall 
        mean" and insert "means" where found in Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 238.02. 
           (b) The revisor of statutes shall change the term "cable 
        communications company" to "cable communications system" where 
        found in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 238. 
           (c) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.18, subdivision 1, 
        the revisor of statutes shall delete paragraph (a) and renumber 
        paragraph (b) as section 238.02, subdivision 1b, and renumber 
        paragraph (c) as section 238.02, subdivision 34. 
           (d) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.22, the revisor of 
        statutes shall renumber subdivision 6 as section 238.02, 
        subdivision 1a; subdivision 7 as section 238.02, subdivision 1c; 
        subdivision 8 as section 238.02, subdivision 1d; subdivision 10 
        as section 238.02, subdivision 21a; subdivision 11 as section 
        238.02, subdivision 28a; subdivision 12 as section 238.02, 
        subdivision 29a; subdivision 13 as section 238.02, subdivision 
        31a; and subdivision 14 as section 238.02, subdivision 31d. 
           (e) In Minnesota Statutes, section 238.36, the revisor of 
        statutes shall renumber subdivision 2 as section 238.02, 
        subdivision 3a; subdivision 3 as section 238.02, subdivision 
        20a; and subdivision 4 as section 238.02, subdivision 31b. 
           (f) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 238.43, subdivision 1, as section 238.02, 
        subdivision 31c. 
           Sec. 29.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 238.01; 238.02, 
        subdivisions 2, 17, 18, 19, and 25; 238.082; 238.083, 
        subdivisions 3 and 5; 238.084, subdivisions 2, 3, and 5; 238.12, 
        subdivision 1a; and 238.36, subdivision 1, are repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 18, 2004 
           Signed by the governor May 29, 2004, 2:00 p.m.