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This entry was published on 2021-05-14
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SECTION 216
Powers of the commission in respect to cable television companies
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 11
§ 216. Powers of the commission in respect to cable television
companies. 1. The commission may promulgate, issue, amend and rescind
such orders, rules and regulations as it may find necessary or
appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article. Such orders,
rules and regulations may classify persons and matters within the
jurisdiction of the commission and prescribe different requirements for
different classes of persons or matters. A copy of any order, rule or
regulations promulgated hereunder shall be subject to public inspection
during reasonable business hours.

2. The commission may require cable television companies to maintain
and file such reports, contracts and statements, including but not
limited to ownership, accounting, auditing and operating statements,
engineering reports and other data as the commission may deem necessary
or appropriate to administer the provisions of this article. The
commission, including members of its staff, may make reasonable
inspections of the records and facilities of any cable television
company.

3. The commission may examine, under oath, all officers, agents,
employees and stockholders of any cable television company, municipal
officials and any other persons and compel the production of papers and
the attendance of witnesses to obtain the information necessary to
administer the provisions of this article.

4. (a) The commission may require and receive from any agency of the
state or any political subdivision thereof such assistance and data as
may be necessary to enable the commission to administer the provisions
of this article.

(b) The commission may enter into such cooperative arrangements with
the board of regents, the council on the arts, other state agencies and
municipalities, each of which is hereby authorized to enter into such
cooperative arrangements, as shall be necessary or appropriate to assure
that there will be maximum utilization of existing expertise in
communications technology, cable television operations and programming
and that the purposes of this article will be effectively accomplished.
Upon request of the commission, any state agency may transfer to the
commission such officers and employees as the commission may deem
necessary from time to time to assist the commission in carrying out its
functions and duties. Officers and employees so transferred shall not
lose their civil service status or rights.

5. The commission shall have and may exercise all other powers
necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article.

* 6. No cable television company shall terminate or disconnect
services provided over their infrastructure to a residential service
customer or a small business customer with twenty-five or fewer
employees that is not a (a) publicly held company, or a subsidiary
thereof, (b) seasonal, short-term, or temporary customer, or (c)
customer that the cable television company can demonstrate has the
resources to pay the bill, provided that the cable television company
notifies the small business customer of its reasons and of the
customer's right to contest this determination through the commission's
complaint procedures, for the non-payment of an overdue charge for the
duration of a state disaster emergency declared pursuant to executive
order two hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19
state of emergency"). Cable television companies shall have a duty to
restore service, to the extent not already required under this chapter,
at the request of any residential or small business customer within
forty-eight hours if such service has been terminated during the
pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency and disconnection of such
service was due to non-payment of an overdue charge, provided, however,
that cable television companies shall not be required to restore service
to any residential or small business customer if such service had been
terminated prior to the effective date of this subdivision.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 7. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either the COVID-19
state of emergency is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no cable television company
shall terminate or disconnect services provided over their
infrastructure to a residential or small business customer account
because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears then owed to
the cable television company when such customer has experienced a change
in financial circumstances, as defined by the department, due to the
COVID-19 state of emergency. The cable television company shall provide
such residential or small business customer with the right to enter
into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement without the
requirement of a down payment, late fees, or penalties, with such
prohibition on down payments, late fees, or penalties applicable to all
arrears incurred during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

*8. Every cable television company shall provide notice to residential
or small business customers in a writing to be included with a bill
statement or, when appropriate, via electronic transmission of the
provisions of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts to
contact customers who have demonstrated a change in financial
circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of
offering such customers a deferred payment agreement consistent with the
provisions of this section and article two of this chapter.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 9. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not
prohibit a cable television company from recovering lost or deferred
revenues after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of
emergency or December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one, whichever
is earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in
this chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any of the provisions
of this article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a cable
television company from disconnecting service at the request of a
customer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a cable television
company from disconnecting service when it is necessary to protect the
health and safety of customers and the public.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 10. Every cable television company shall be subject to the
jurisdiction of the commission for the purposes of enforcing the
provisions of subdivisions six, seven, eight and nine of this section
pursuant to sections twenty-four, twenty-five and twenty-six of this
chapter, and any other applicable provision of this chapter.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022