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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 225
Rates
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 11
§ 225. Rates. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, and by
federal law and regulation, the rates charged by a cable television
company shall be those specified in the franchise which may establish,
or provide for the establishment of reasonable classifications of
service and categories of subscribers, or charge different rates for
differing services or for subscribers in different categories.

2. Such rates may not be changed except by amendment of the franchise.

3. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, (a) no rate
provision in any franchise shall bind a municipality for more than ten
years and no rate provision in any renewed franchise shall bind a
municipality for more than five years. In the event that an existing
franchise purports to bind a municipality with respect to rates for a
period to expire after January first, nineteen hundred eighty-three,
such provision shall have no further force or effect after January
first, nineteen hundred eighty-three; and (b) any rate or rates found by
the commission, after public notice and opportunity for hearing, to be
discriminatory or preferential as between subscribers similarly situated
shall thereafter be void. Reduced rates or free service to government,
educational or charitable institutions shall not be considered unduly
discriminatory or preferential.

4. In the event the commission finds that any rate is discriminatory
or preferential pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this
section or that any cable television company is in violation of an order
issued by the commission pursuant to section two hundred twenty-four of
this article requiring adequate service, it may issue an order requiring
the municipality and the cable television company to provide for new
rates which are nondiscriminatory or nonpreferential or reduced to
reflect the inadequate service, as the case may be.

5. In addition to other powers, the commission may, after public
notice and opportunity for hearing, prescribe rates for cable television
service whenever:

(a) existing rates have been found discriminatory or preferential and,
after reasonable opportunity, the municipality and the cable television
company have not provided for new rates which are nondiscriminatory or
nonpreferential, as provided in subdivision four of this section;

(b) a cable television company is in violation of an order issued by
the commission pursuant to section two hundred twenty-four of this
article requiring adequate service and, after reasonable opportunity,
the municipality and the cable television company have not provided for
new rates reduced to reflect the inadequate service, in which case the
commission may require appropriate rate reductions;

(c) having reduced rates pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subdivision, the commission finds that the cable television company has
substantially remedied the deficiencies, in which case the commission
shall return the rates to those rates stipulated in the franchise;

(d) upon complaint by any interested party and after reasonable
opportunity for negotiation between the municipality and the franchise,
it finds that rates are not established by or pursuant to the terms of
the franchise, in which event, the commission shall fix rates at a level
comparable to rates fixed in comparable franchises requiring comparable
service for comparable service areas; and

(e) upon request by a municipality and cable television company that
the commission prescribe applicable rates, made in such manner as the
commission by regulation may prescribe and certifying that they are
unable to agree upon rates to include any franchise or renewal thereof,
in which event the commission shall fix rates at a level comparable to
rates currently being fixed in cable television franchises for
comparable service in comparable service areas; provided that if the
municipality and the company thereafter agree upon rates, such rates
shall become effective.

6. Any cable television company may initiate a civil proceeding within
the appropriate courts of this state to collect any rates, charges, or
fees duly imposed in accordance with applicable law, or to enjoin the
procurement or reception of cable television services from the
facilities of such cable television company without its consent, or to
enjoin the sale or distribution, to anyone other than the provider of a
telecommunications service for its own use in the provision of its
service, of any electronic decoder or descrambler, a principal function
of which defeats a mechanism of electronic signal encryption, jamming or
individually addressed switching imposed by such company to restrict the
delivery of its service and to seek appropriate monetary damages for
such procurement or reception of cable television services, or the sale
or distribution of such equipment. Upon a showing by a cable television
company in such a proceeding that such cable television service has been
obtained without its consent, or that such equipment has been offered
for sale or distribution to anyone other than the provider of a
telecommunications service for its own use in the provision of its
service, such cable television company shall be granted an injunction
prohibiting the continuation of such practices and, upon a showing by
such cable television company in such a proceeding that such cable
television service has been obtained under circumstances evincing a
knowledge that such service would be obtained without payment of the
proper charges therefor, or that such equipment has been offered for
sale or distribution, such company may be awarded such monetary damages
and such punitive award as the court in its discretion shall deem to be
just and appropriate for the purposes of this subdivision, (a) every
cable television company is deemed to have consented to the attachment
to an authorized outlet of its facilities by a cable television service
subscriber of such company, of one television receiver which is
type-accepted by the federal communications commission; and (b) the
phrase "electronic decoder or descrambler, a principal function of which
defeats a mechanism of electronic signal encryption, jamming, or
individually addressed switching imposed by such company to restrict the
delivery of its service" shall not include any television receiver type
accepted by the Federal Communications Commission. No person shall sell,
offer for sale, or distribute to anyone other than the provider of a
telecommunications service for such service provider's own use in the
provision of its service any electronic decoder or descrambler, a
principal function of which defeats a mechanism of electronic signal
encryption, jamming or individually addressed switching imposed by a
cable television company to restrict the delivery of its service. The
proceeding authorized by this subdivision shall be initiated and
conducted pursuant to the provisions of the civil practice law and
rules.