California Public Utilities Code
(a) The holder of a state franchise shall comply with the provisions of Sections 53055, 53055.1, 53055.2, and 53088.2 of the Government Code, and any other customer service standards pertaining to the provision of video service established by federal law or regulation or adopted by subsequent enactment of the Legislature. All customer service and consumer protection standards under this section shall be interpreted and applied to accommodate newer or different technologies while meeting or exceeding the goals of the standards.
(b) The holder of a state franchise shall comply with provisions of Section 637.5 of the Penal Code and the privacy standards contained in Section 551 and
following of Title 47 of the United States Code.
(c) The local entity shall enforce all of the customer service and protection standards of this section with respect to complaints received from residents within the local entity’s jurisdiction, but it may not adopt or seek to enforce any additional or different customer service or other performance standards under Section 53055.3 or subdivision (q), (r), or (s) of Section 53088.2 of the Government Code, or any other authority or provision of law.
(d) The local entity shall, by ordinance or resolution, provide a schedule of penalties for any material breach by a holder of a state franchise of this section. No monetary penalties shall be assessed for a material breach if it is out of the reasonable control of the holder. Further, no monetary penalties may be imposed prior to January 1, 2007. Any schedule of monetary penalties adopted
pursuant to this section shall in no event exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each day of each material breach, not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for each occurrence of a material breach. However, if a material breach of this section has occurred, and the local entity has provided notice and a fine or penalty has been assessed, and if a subsequent material breach of the same nature occurs within 12 months, the penalties may be increased by the local entity to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day of each material breach, not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) for each occurrence of the material breach. If a third or further material breach of the same nature occurs within those same 12 months, and the local entity has provided notice and a fine or penalty has been assessed, the penalties may be increased to a maximum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each day of each material breach, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500)
for each occurrence of the material breach. With respect to video providers subject to a franchise or license, any monetary penalties assessed under this section shall be reduced dollar-for-dollar to the extent any liquidated damage or penalty provision of a current cable television ordinance, franchise contract, or license agreement imposes a monetary obligation upon a video provider for the same customer service failures, and no other monetary damages may be assessed.
(e) The local entity shall give the video service provider written notice of any alleged material breach of the customer service standards of this division and allow the video provider at least 30 days from receipt of the notice to remedy the specified material breach.
(f) A material breach for the purposes of assessing penalties shall be deemed to have occurred for each day within the jurisdiction of each local
entity, following the expiration of the period specified in subdivision (e), that any material breach has not been remedied by the video service provider, irrespective of the number of customers or subscribers affected.
(g) Any penalty assessed pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the local entity, which shall submit one-half of the penalty to the Digital Divide Account established in Section 280.5.
(h) Any interested person may seek judicial review of a decision of the local entity in a court of appropriate jurisdiction. For this purpose, a court of law shall conduct a de novo review of any issues presented.
(i) This section shall not preclude a party affected by this section from utilizing any judicial remedy available to that party without regard to this section. Actions taken by a local legislative body,
including a local franchising entity, pursuant to this section shall not be binding upon a court of law. For this purpose, a court of law shall conduct de novo review of any issues presented.
(j) For purposes of this section, “material breach” means any substantial and repeated failure of a video service provider to comply with service quality and other standards specified in subdivision (a).
(k) The Office of Ratepayer Advocates shall have authority to advocate on behalf of video subscribers regarding renewal of a state-issued franchise and enforcement of this section, and Sections 5890 and 5950. For this purpose, the office shall have access to any information in the possession of the commission subject to all restrictions on disclosure of that information that are applicable to the commission.