California Public Utilities Code

Sec. § 5840


The commission is the sole franchising authority for a state franchise to provide video service under this division. Neither the commission nor any local franchising entity or other local entity of the state may require the holder of a state franchise to obtain a separate franchise or otherwise impose any requirement on any holder of a state franchise except as expressly provided in this division. Sections 53066, 53066.01, 53066.2, and 53066.3 of the Government Code shall not apply to holders of a state franchise.


The application process described in this section and the authority granted to the commission under this section shall not exceed the provisions set forth in this section.


Any person or corporation who seeks to provide video service in this state for which a franchise has not already been issued, after January 1, 2008, shall file an application for a state franchise with the commission. The commission may impose a fee on the applicant that shall not exceed the actual and reasonable costs of processing the application and shall not be levied for general revenue purposes.


No person or corporation shall be eligible for a state-issued franchise, including a franchise obtained from renewal or transfer of an existing franchise, if that person or corporation is in violation of any final nonappealable order relating to either the Cable Television and Video Provider Customer Service and Information Act (Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 53054) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) or the Video Customer Service Act (Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 53088) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).


The application for a state franchise shall be made on a form prescribed by the commission and shall include all of the following:


A sworn affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury by an officer or another person authorized to bind the applicant, that affirms all of the following:


That the applicant has filed or will timely file with the Federal Communications Commission all forms required by the Federal Communications Commission before offering cable service or video service in this state.


That the applicant or its affiliates agrees to comply with all federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations, including, but not limited to, the following:


A statement that the applicant will not discriminate in the provision of video or cable services as provided in Section 5890.


A statement that the applicant will abide by all applicable consumer protection laws and rules as provided in Section 5900.
(iii)A statement that the applicant will remit the fee required by subdivision (a) of Section 5860 to the local entity.


A statement that the applicant will provide PEG channels and the required funding as required by Section 5870.


That the applicant agrees to comply with all lawful city, county, or city and county regulations regarding the time, place, and manner of using the public rights-of-way, including, but not limited to, payment of applicable encroachment, permit, and inspection fees.


That the applicant will concurrently deliver a copy of the application to any local entity where the applicant will provide service.


The applicant’s legal name and any name under which the applicant does or will do business in this state.


The address and telephone number of the applicant’s principal place of business, along with contact information for the person responsible for ongoing communications with the commission.


The names and titles of the applicant’s principal officers.


The legal name, address, and telephone number of the applicant’s parent company, if any.


A description of the video service area footprint that is proposed to be served, as identified by a collection of United States Census Bureau Block numbers (13 digit) or a geographic information system digital boundary meeting or exceeding national map accuracy standards. This description shall include the socioeconomic status information of all residents within the service area footprint.


If the applicant is a telephone corporation or an affiliate of a telephone corporation, as defined in Section 234, a description of the territory in which the company provides telephone service. The description shall include socioeconomic status information of all residents within the telephone corporation’s service territory.


The expected date for the deployment of video service in each of the areas identified in paragraph (6).


Adequate assurance that the applicant possesses the financial, legal, and technical qualifications necessary to construct and operate the proposed system and promptly repair any damage to the public right-of-way caused by the applicant. To accomplish these requirements, the commission may require a bond.


The commission may require that a corporation with wholly owned subsidiaries or affiliates is eligible only for a single state-issued franchise and prohibit the holding of multiple franchises through separate subsidiaries or affiliates. The commission may establish procedures for a holder of a state-issued franchise to amend its franchise to reflect changes in its service area.


The commission shall commence accepting applications for a state franchise no later than April 1, 2007.


(1)The commission shall notify an applicant for a state franchise and any affected local entities whether the applicant’s application is complete or incomplete before the 30th calendar day after the applicant submits the application.


If the commission finds the application is complete, it shall issue a state franchise before the 14th calendar day after that finding.


If the commission finds that the application is incomplete, it shall specify with particularity the items in the application that are incomplete and permit the applicant to amend the application to cure any deficiency. The commission shall have 30 calendar days from the date the application is amended to determine its completeness.


The failure of the commission to notify the applicant of the completeness or incompleteness of the application before the 44th calendar day after receipt of an application shall be deemed to constitute issuance of the certificate applied for without further action on behalf of the applicant.


The state franchise issued by the commission shall contain all of the following:


A grant of authority to provide video service in the service area footprint as requested in the application.


A grant of authority to use the public rights-of-way, in exchange for the franchise fee adopted under subdivision (q), in the delivery of video service, subject to the laws of this state.


A statement that the grant of authority is subject to lawful operation of the cable service or video service by the applicant or its successor in interest.


The state franchise issued by the commission may be terminated by the video service provider by submitting at least 90 days prior written notice to subscribers, local entities, and the commission.


It is unlawful to provide video service without a state or locally issued franchise.


Subject to the notice requirements of this division, a state franchise may be transferred to any successor in interest of the holder to which the certificate is originally granted, provided that the transferee first submits all of the information required of the applicant by this section to the commission and is in compliance with Section 5970.


In connection with, or as a condition of, receiving a state franchise, the commission shall require a holder to notify the commission and any applicable local entity within 14 business days of any of the following changes involving the holder of the state franchise:


Any transaction involving a change in the ownership, operation, control, or corporate organization of the holder, including a merger, an acquisition, or a reorganization.


A change in the holder’s legal name or the adoption of, or change to, an assumed business name. The holder shall submit to the commission a certified copy of either of the following:


The proposed amendment to the state franchise.


The certificate of assumed business name.


A change in the holder’s principal business address or in the name of the person authorized to receive notice on behalf of the holder.


Any transfer of the state franchise to a successor in interest of the holder. The holder shall identify the successor in interest to which the transfer is made.


The termination of any state franchise issued under this division. The holder shall identify both of the following:


The number of subscribers in the service area covered by the state franchise being terminated.


The method by which the holder’s subscribers were notified of the termination.


A change in one or more of the service areas of the holder of a state franchise pursuant to this division that would increase or decrease the territory within the service area. The holder shall describe the new boundaries of the affected service areas after the proposed change is made.


Prior to offering video service in a local entity’s jurisdiction, the holder of a state franchise shall notify the local entity that the video service provider will provide video service in the local entity’s jurisdiction. The notice shall be given at least 10 days, but no more than 60 days, before the video service provider begins to offer service.


Any video service provider that currently holds a franchise with a local franchising entity is entitled to seek a state franchise in the area designated in that franchise upon meeting any of the following conditions:


The expiration, prior to any renewal or extension, of its local franchise.


A mutually agreed upon date set by both the local franchising entity and video service provider to terminate the franchise provided in writing by both parties to the commission.


When a video service provider that holds a state franchise provides the notice required pursuant to subdivision (n) to a local jurisdiction that it intends to initiate providing video service in all or part of that jurisdiction, a video service provider operating under a franchise issued by a local franchising entity may elect to obtain a state franchise to replace its locally issued franchise. The franchise issued by the local franchising entity shall terminate and be replaced by a state franchise when the commission issues a state franchise for the video service provider that includes the entire service area served by the video service provider and the video service provider notifies the local entity that it will begin providing video service in that area under a state franchise.


Notwithstanding any rights to the contrary, an incumbent cable operator opting into a state franchise under this section shall continue to serve all areas as required by its local franchise agreement existing on January 1, 2007, until that local franchise otherwise would have expired. However, an incumbent cable operator that is also a telephone corporation with less than 1,000,000 telephone customers in California and is providing video service in competition with another incumbent cable operator shall not be required to provide service beyond the area in which it is providing video service as of January 1, 2007.


(1)There is hereby adopted a state franchise fee payable as rent or a toll for the use of the public rights-of-way by holders of the state franchise issued pursuant to this division. The amount of the state franchise fee shall be 5 percent of gross revenues, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 5860, or the percentage applied by the local entity to the gross revenue of the incumbent cable operator, whichever is less. If there is no incumbent cable operator or upon the expiration of the incumbent cable operator’s franchise, the amount of the state franchise fee shall be 5 percent of gross revenues, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 5860, unless the local entity adopts an ordinance setting the amount of the franchise fee at less than 5 percent.


(A)The state franchise fee shall apply equally to all video service providers in the local entity’s jurisdiction.


Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if the video service provider is leasing access to a network owned by a local entity, the local entity may set a franchise fee for access to the network different from the franchise fee charged to a video service provider for access to the rights-of-way to install its own network.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016