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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
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      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedDecember 10th, 2013

Bill Details

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Official Title

A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish signal quality and content requirements for the carriage of public, educational, and governmental channels, to preserve support of such channels, and for other purposes.

Summary

Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require certain cable system operators, with channel capacity for public, educational, or governmental (PEG) use that is designated by a franchising authority under existing code provisions or required to be provided under this Act, to: (1) carry PEG-use signals to subscribers without material degradation and without altering or removing content or data; (2) provide viewable signals to every cable subscriber without additional service or equipment charges; and (3) provide to the appropriate local government subdivision (LGS), free of charge, any transmission services and the use of any transmission facilities necessary to meet such requirements. Requires a cable operator in a state adopting applicable franchising legislation that becomes effective after May 31, 2005, to: (1) owe any LGS in which the operator provides cable service during a year beginning after enactment of this Act an LGS-determined amount for such year, within specified limits, notwithstanding requirements relating to support for cable system PEG use in such state legislation; and (2) provide a certain number of channels for PEG use in an LGS, notwithstanding requirements relating to the number of PEG-use cable channels in such state legislation. Defines "local government subdivision" (referred to above as an LGS) as a franchising authority deriving its power to grant a franchise from state or local law or an entity considered such a franchising authority as of the day before the effective date of such state legislation relating to support. Specifies forms of support as cash payments, in-kind support, and free services provided by the cable system operator, or its predecessor, to the LGS for the cable system's PEG use. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) LGS or state enforcement, and (2) nonbinding mediation and court proceedings concerning disputed support amounts. Revises the definition of "franchise fee" including by striking a provision prohibiting such a fee from including (in the case of a franchise granted after the enactment of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984) capital costs that the franchise requires the cable operator to incur for PEG access facilities.

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