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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Definitions; minimum standards for cable television franchises imposed upon counties and municipalities.
Section 166.046, Florida Statutes 2005

166.046  Definitions; minimum standards for cable television franchises imposed upon counties and municipalities.--

(1)  As used in this section, the term:

(a)  "Cable service" means:

1.  The one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming or other programming service; and

2.  Subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or other programming service.

(b)  "Cable system" means a facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception, and control equipment that is designed to provide cable service which includes video programming and which is provided to multiple subscribers within a community, but such term does not include:

1.  A facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations;

2.  A facility that serves only subscribers in one or more multiple-unit dwellings under common ownership, control, or management, unless such facility or facilities use any public right-of-way;

3.  A facility of a common carrier, except that such facility shall be considered a cable system to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers; or

4.  Any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operating its electric utility systems.

(c)  "Franchise" means an initial authorization or renewal thereof issued by a franchising authority, whether such authorization is designated as a franchise, permit, license, resolution, contract, certificate, agreement, or otherwise, which authorizes the construction or operation of a cable system.

(d)  "Franchising authority" means any governmental entity empowered by federal, state, or local law to grant a franchise.

(e)  "Person" means an individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, corporation, or governmental entity.

(f)  "Video programming" means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station or cable system.

(2)  No municipality or county shall grant a franchise for cable service to a cable system within its jurisdiction without first, at a duly noticed public hearing, having considered:

(a)  The economic impact upon private property within the franchise area;

(b)  The public need for such franchise, if any;

(c)  The capacity of public rights-of-way to accommodate the cable system;

(d)  The present and future use of the public rights-of-way to be used by the cable system;

(e)  The potential disruption to existing users of the public rights-of-way to be used by the cable system and the resultant inconvenience which may occur to the public;

(f)  The financial ability of the franchise applicant to perform;

(g)  Other societal interests as are generally considered in cable television franchising;

(h)  Such other additional matters, both procedural and substantive, as the municipality or county may, in its sole discretion, determine to be relevant.

(3)  No municipality or county shall grant any overlapping franchises for cable service within its jurisdiction on terms or conditions more favorable or less burdensome than those in any existing franchise within such municipality or county.

(4)  The provisions of subsection (3) shall not apply when the area in which the overlapping franchise is being sought is not actually being served by any existing cable service provider holding a franchise for such area. The provisions of subsection (2) shall apply to the provisions of this subsection and subsection (5). As used in this subsection, the term "actually being served" means that cable service is actually available to subscribers to such extent that the only act remaining in order to provide cable service is the physical connection to the individual subscriber location as of 15 days prior to any subsequent application for a franchise.

(5)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any municipality or county considering the approval of an additional cable service franchise in all or any part of the area of such municipality or county from imposing additional terms and conditions upon the granting of such franchise as such municipality or county shall in its sole discretion deem necessary or appropriate.

(6)  All cable service franchises in existence as of October 1, 1987, shall remain in full force and effect according to their terms.

History.--s. 1, ch. 87-62.