CABLE AND VIDEO COMPETITION LAW & CABLE AND VIDEO CUSTOMER PROTECTION LAW
Synopsis of Laws
The bill attempts to address competition and customer service concerns in the cable and video delivery industry. New cable providers can enter the state market without negotiating separate franchise agreements with each city and village. The bill includes provision for local governments to maintain control of rights-of-way, PEG, and franchise revenues. Customer service provisions are supposed to ensure faster installation and repairs. The bill addresses coverage areas for cable services. In addition, the bill addresses enforcement issues. The bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly and was signed into law by the Governor on 6/30/2007.
Impact on Local Government
The legislation protects local public, education, and government (PEG) broadcast rights. The bill establishes a fee structure for payments to local government; however, local governments must pass an ordinance to receive fee from cable providers. The law entitles local government to:
- 5% of gross revenues or the equivalent fee charged to incumbent providers
- 1% of gross revenues for PEG or the equivalent fee charged to incumbent providers
Revenues from bundled services are subject to the fees. The bundled services revenues "shall be included in gross revenue unless the holder can reasonably identify the division or exclusion of the revenue from its books and records that are kept in the regular course of business. Local governments maintain control over rights-of-way, but are prohibited from discriminating among providers. Local government has right (along with customer) to enter mediation or pursue legal action (along with customer and state) for alleged violations of the Act.
Links - More Information
Summary of SB 678
IML Guide to SB 678
Chicago Tribune Article on Cable Laws
Daily Herald Article on Cable Laws