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The DC Code: § 34-1254.08 Franchise review prior to expiration.

Index34 Public Utilities. (Refs & Annos)
a
If the Office does not commence a renewal proceeding under § 34-1254.07, the Office shall commence a franchise review proceeding no later than 24 months before the expiration of the franchise.
b
The Office shall commence the proceeding by having published in the District of Columbia Register a Notice of Commencement of Cable Franchise Review Prior to Expiration, which shall state the name of the cable operator, the nature of the proceedings, and the relevant procedures under this chapter and federal law.
c
Within 120 days after commencement of the review proceeding under this section, the Office shall hold a public hearing, on at least 30 days notice published in the District of Columbia Register. The public hearing shall be held to receive testimony on at least the following issues:
1
The current and future cable-related community needs and interests of the District and of District residents;
2
The performance of the cable operator under the franchise during the then current franchise term; and
3
The quality of services provided by the cable operator.
d
(1) Within 120 days after the commencement of the proceeding, the Office shall commence the following:
A
A formal assessment of community cable-related needs, both current and future;
B
A formal assessment of the cable operator's compliance with this chapter, the franchise, and the franchise agreement over the course of the franchise; and
C
A formal assessment of the technical aspects of the cable system.
2
The Office shall complete the assessments under this section before submitting a proposed franchise agreement under subsection (h) of this section.
e
As part of the review proceeding, the Office shall commence, at least 18 months before the expiration of the franchise, the negotiation of the terms of a new franchise agreement between the District and the applicant.
f
The Office shall use its best efforts to reach agreement with the cable operator on the terms of a proposed franchise agreement within one year after the commencement of the negotiations under subsection (e) of this section. The Office may extend the one-year period or until the expiration date of the franchise, if additional time is necessary to finalize the terms of the proposed franchise agreement and there is good cause for not having finalized the agreement within the one-year period.
g
The proposed franchise agreement shall contain the provisions set forth in § 34-1254.05.
h
If the Office and the applicant agree on the terms of a proposed franchise agreement under this section, the Office shall submit to the Mayor and the Council a Recommendation for the Approval of a Cable Television Franchise consisting of the proposed franchise agreement and a summary of factors supporting the recommendation.
i
If the Office determines that there is a basis for denial of a franchise under federal law, and determines that the franchise should be denied, the Office shall submit to the Mayor and the Council a Recommendation for the Denial of a Franchise, including a summary of the factors supporting the recommendation and a detailed explanation of the proposed denial's consistency with federal law.
j
After a proposed franchise agreement is submitted to the Council under subsection (h) of this section, the Council may, by act, grant a franchise and approve the franchise agreement, with or without conditions or modifications which may override any provisions of the proposed franchise agreement, deny a franchise or reject the proposed franchise agreement and remand the proposed franchise agreement to the Office with recommendations to renegotiate any of the provisions of the agreement and submit a revised agreement to the Council, or deny a franchise or reject the proposed franchise agreement.
k
Each applicant to whom the District grants a franchise renewal shall pay to the District, within 30 days after the franchise is granted, a franchise award fee to be set in the act granting the franchise. The payment shall be nonrefundable. A cable operator's failure to pay the franchise award fee within the 30-day period shall make the franchise and franchise agreement void.

Historical and Statutory

Legislative History of Laws For Law 14-193, see notes following § 34-1251.01. DC CODE § 34-1254.08 Current through December 11, 2012

Credits

(Aug. 21, 1982, D.C. Law 4-142, § 408, as added Oct. 9, 2002, D.C. Law 14-193, § 2(b), 49 DCR 7334.)