|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 688 - Cable Franchise Regulations|
|Author:||Senator Steve Kelley|
|Prepared by:||Matthew S. Grosser, Senate Research (651/296-1890)|
|Date:||March 17, 2005|
The bill repeals current law prohibiting a municipality from granting an additional franchise
for cable service in an area on terms or conditions more favorable or less burdensome than those
granted to the existing franchise with respect to the area served or public, educational, or
governmental access requirements. Repeals current law allowing a municipality to grant an
additional franchise on more favorable or less burdensome terms when the existing franchise is not
actually providing service in an area. The bill also repeals a municipality's current authority to
impose additional terms and conditions on additional franchises.
The bill provides that the grant of an additional cable franchise may include an area similar to that served in an existing franchise or another area that is deemed to be necessary or desirable to reasonably meet the needs of the municipality or its franchise authority. The bill requires that an additional cable franchise must ensure that all subscribers receive the same local public, educational, and governmental access channels with their franchise area as are specified in an existing franchise. Existing franchise providers are required to permit an additional franchise provider to connect to its local public, educational, and governmental channel feeds and provide an additional franchise provider with the programming on those channels, with the cost of connection to be incurred by the additional franchise provider.
An additional franchise provider shall make annual financial contributions equivalent, on a per customer basis, to the public, educational, and governmental access services, equipment, and facilities provided by the existing franchise provider. An additional franchise provider may satisfy its requirements regarding in-kind contributions, such as cameras and production studios, by negotiating with the existing franchise provider and the municipality or its franchise authority so that public, educational, and governmental access and local origination services are improved or increased.
An additional franchise provider must comply with new public, educational, and governmental access and local origination obligations imposed by a cable franchise renewal. It must not be required to displace other programmers to accommodate such uses, but must comply whenever additional capacity becomes available.
A municipality or its franchise authority may not impose public, educational, and governmental access and local origination obligations on the additional franchise provider exceeding those imposed on the existing franchise provider.
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Last review or update: 03/17/2005
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