California Public Utilities Code
Sec. § 5890


(a)

A cable operator or video service provider that has been granted a state franchise under this division may not discriminate against or deny access to service to any group of potential residential subscribers because of the income of the residents in the local area in which the group resides.

(b)

Holders or their affiliates with more than 1,000,000 telephone customers in California satisfy subdivision (a) if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)

Within three years after it begins providing video service under this division, at least 25 percent of households with access to the holder’s video service are low-income households.

(2)

Within five years after it begins providing video service under this division and continuing thereafter, at least 30 percent of the households with access to the holder’s video service are low-income households.

(3)

Holders provide service to community centers in underserved areas, as determined by the holder, without charge, at a ratio of one community center for every 10,000 video subscribers. The holder shall not be required to take its facilities beyond the appropriate demarcation point outside the community center building or perform any inside wiring. The community center may not receive service from more than one state franchise holder at a time under this section. For purposes of this section, “community center” means any facility operated by an organization that has qualified for the California Teleconnect Fund, as established in Section 280 and that will make the holder’s service available to the community.

(c)

Holders or their affiliates with fewer than 1,000,000 telephone customers in California satisfy this section if they offer video service to all customers within their telephone service area within a reasonable time, as determined by the commission. However, the commission shall not require the holder to offer video service if the cost to provide video service is substantially above the average cost of providing video service in that telephone service area.

(d)

When a holder provides video service outside of its telephone service area, is not a telephone corporation, or offers video service in an area where no other video service is being offered, other than direct-to-home satellite service, there is a rebuttable presumption that discrimination in providing service has not occurred within those areas. The commission may review the holder’s proposed video service area to ensure that the area is not drawn in a discriminatory manner.

(e)

For holders or their affiliates with more than 1,000,000 telephone customers in California, either of the following shall apply:

(1)

If the holder is predominantly deploying fiber optic facilities to the customer’s premise, the holder shall provide access to its video service to a number of households at least equal to 25 percent of the customer households in the holder’s telephone service area within two years after it begins providing video service under this division, and to a number at least equal to 40 percent of those households within five years.

(2)

If the holder is not predominantly deploying fiber optic facilities to the customer’s premises, the holder shall provide access to its video service to a number of households at least equal to 35 percent of the households in the holder’s telephone service area within three years after it begins providing video service under this division, and to a number at least equal to 50 percent of these households within five years.

(3)

A holder shall not be required to meet the 40-percent requirement in paragraph (1) or the 50-percent requirement in paragraph (2) until two years after at least 30 percent of the households with access to the holder’s video service subscribe to it for six consecutive months.

(4)

If 30 percent of the households with access to the holder’s video service have not subscribed to the holder’s video service for six consecutive months within three years after it begins providing video service, the holder may submit validating documentation to the commission. If the commission finds that the documentation validates the holder’s claim, then the commission shall permit a delay in meeting the 40-percent requirement in paragraph (1) or the 50-percent requirement in paragraph (2) until the time that the holder does provide service to 30 percent of the households for six consecutive months.

(f)

(1)After two years of providing service under this division, the holder may apply to the state franchising authority for an extension to meet the requirements of subdivision (b), (c), or (e). Notice of this application shall also be provided to the telephone customers of the holder, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly.

(2)

Upon application, the franchising authority shall hold public hearings in the telephone service area of the applicant.

(3)

In reviewing the failure to satisfy the obligations contained in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), the franchising authority shall consider factors that are beyond the control of the holder, including, but not limited to, the following:

(A)

The ability of the holder to obtain access to rights-of-way under reasonable terms and conditions.

(B)

The degree to which developments or buildings are not subject to competition because of existing exclusive arrangements.

(C)

The degree to which developments or buildings are inaccessible using reasonable technical solutions under commercially reasonable terms and conditions.

(D)

Natural disasters.

(4)

The franchising authority may grant the extension only if the holder has made substantial and continuous effort to meet the requirements of subdivision (b), (c), or (e). If an extension is granted the franchising authority shall establish a new compliance deadline.

(g)

Local governments may bring complaints to the state franchising authority that a holder is not offering video service as required by this section, or the state franchising authority may open an investigation on its own motion. The state franchising authority shall hold public hearings before issuing a decision. The commission may suspend or revoke the franchise if the holder fails to comply with the provisions of this division.

(h)

If the state franchising authority finds that the holder is in violation of this section, it may, in addition to any other remedies provided by law, impose a fine not to exceed 1 percent of the holder’s total monthly gross revenue received from provision of video service in the state each month from the date of the decision until the date that compliance is achieved.

(i)

If a court finds that the holder of the state franchise is in violation of this section, the court may immediately terminate the holder’s state franchise, and the court shall, in addition to any other remedies provided by law, impose a fine not to exceed 1 percent of the holder’s total gross revenue of its entire cable and service footprint in the state in the full calendar month immediately prior to the decision.

(j)

As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)

“Access” means that the holder is capable of providing video service at the household address using any technology, other than direct-to-home satellite service, providing two-way broadband Internet capability and video programming, content, and functionality, regardless of whether any customer has ordered service or whether the owner or landlord or other responsible person has granted access to the household. If more than one technology is utilized, the technologies shall provide similar two-way broadband Internet accessibility and similar video programming.

(2)

“Customer’s household” means those residential households located within the holder’s existing telephone service area that are customers of the service by which that telephone service area is defined.

(3)

“Household” means, consistent with the United States Census Bureau, a house, an apartment, a mobilehome, a group of rooms, or a single room that is intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.

(4)

“Low-income household” means those residential households located within the holder’s existing telephone service area where the average annual household income is less than thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) based on the United States Census Bureau estimates adjusted annually to reflect rates of change and distribution through January 1, 2007.

(k)

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a holder to provide video service outside its wireline footprint or to match the existing service area of any cable operator.
Source
Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016