Section 11-27-2

Granting of franchises; conditions, revocation, etc.; local law exception.

A franchise is hereby granted for the installation of poles or conduits within the boundary lines of public roads, highways, or rights-of-way in any county of this state for the operation of community antenna television facilities to any person, partnership, or corporation that is lawfully providing community antenna television service in any such county on July 8, 1982. Any franchise granted under this section shall be limited to the portion or portions of the unincorporated areas of any such county as is being served by the franchisee on July 8, 1982, but may be extended to include other portions of the unincorporated areas of the county at the discretion of the county commission of such county. Any franchise granted under this section shall be governed by the permit, agreement, franchise, ordinance, resolution, or other instrument, if any, granting authority by the county to the entity currently providing such service (for the period of time covered by the instrument but not to exceed two years from July 8, 1982) unless the county and the entity mutually agree upon differing terms. At the expiration of the term of such instrument, not to exceed two years after July 8, 1982, or immediately, if no such instrument exists, then a franchise is granted to all portions of the unincorporated areas of such county as are being served by the franchisee on July 8, 1982, (but may be extended to include other portions of the unincorporated areas of the county at the discretion of the county commission of such county) and shall be conditioned upon reasonable rules and regulations to be established by the county commission of the county to which the franchise applies.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, where the franchise area is, at the time of the franchise, served by an existing cable television facility operating without such instrument, the existing cable television facility shall be given the option to continue operation under the franchise, in accordance with the reasonable rules and regulations provided for herein, and no other system shall be given a franchise under terms more favorable than those offered to the existing system, where the existing system is not in violation of the said reasonable rules and regulations.

Said franchise may be revoked for the continued violation of any of said rules or regulations. Provided, however, that prior to such revocation the franchisee shall be given a notice of continued violation and a sixty-day period in which to cure the violations or to make substantial progress toward such cure as shall be determined by the county commission. The reasonable rules and regulations shall not be designed to discriminate against the existing cable television system or used as a device to preclude its continued operation.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any county for which a local law or general law of local application has been enacted regulating the grant of franchises for the operation of community antenna television facilities. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a county to construct, own, or operate a cable television system or community antenna television facilities.

(Acts 1982, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 82-787, p. 291, §2.)