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Title VI COUNTY, TOWNSHIP AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISION GOVERNMENT

Chapter 67

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  67.2679.  Purpose statement — preemption of regulation of video services — state-issued video services authorization required, procedure. — 1.  The general assembly finds and declares it to be the policy of the state of Missouri that consumers deserve the benefit of competition among all providers of video programming.  Creating a process for securing a state-issued video service authorization best promotes the substantial interest of the state of Missouri in facilitating a competitive marketplace that will, in turn, encourage investment and the deployment of new and innovative services in political subdivisions and provide benefits to the citizens of this state.  The general assembly further finds and declares that franchise entities will benefit from immediate availability of the state-issued video service authorization to all video service providers, including new entrants and incumbent cable operators.  In addition to the benefits to franchise entities found in sections 67.2675 to 67.2714, this immediate availability of state-issued video service authorization will promote fair competition among all video service providers in a local market and thereby provide new revenues to political subdivisions derived from additional video service customers, and the purchase of additional video services by such customers, and the sale of additional advertising by video service providers.  This policy will provide a more predictable source of funding for franchise entities which will continue beyond the natural terms of all existing franchise agreements.  The franchise entities will also experience cost savings associated with the administrative convenience of the enactment of the state-issued video service authorization.  These benefits are full and adequate consideration to franchise entities, as the term "consideration" is used in Article III, Section 39(5) of the Missouri Constitution.

  2.  Except to the extent expressly set forth herein, upon issuance of a video service authorization, any existing or future franchise or ordinance adopted by a franchise entity that purports to regulate video service or video service networks or the franchising of video service providers shall be preempted as applied to such video service provider.

  3.  No person shall commence providing video service or commence construction of a video service network in any area until such person has obtained a state-issued video service authorization, under the provisions of sections 67.2675 to 67.2714.

  4.  The public service commission shall have the exclusive authority to authorize any person to construct or operate a video service network or offer video service in any area of this state.  Notwithstanding provisions of this section to the contrary, a person with an existing and valid authorization to occupy the public rights-of-way may construct a video service network without first obtaining a video service authorization, but such person must obtain a video service authorization prior to commencing the provision of video service and otherwise comply with the provisions of sections 67.2675 to 67.2714.  For purposes of the federal Cable Act, 47 U.S.C. 521, et seq., the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, and all applicable state laws and regulations, the public service commission shall be considered the sole franchising authority for the state, except with respect to a person that continues to provide video service under a franchise, franchise extension, or expired franchise or ordinance previously granted by a franchise entity.  The public service commission shall have no authority to regulate the rates, terms, and conditions of video service, except to the extent explicitly provided under sections 67.2675 to 67.2714.

  5.  Any person seeking to commence providing video service in this state shall file an application for a video service authorization covering a franchise area or franchise areas with the public service commission and provide written notice to the affected political subdivisions of its intent to provide video service.  The public service commission shall make such application public by posting a copy of the application on its website within three days of filing.

  6.  A holder of a video service authorization who seeks to include additional political subdivisions to be served must file with the public service commission a notice of change to its video service authorization that reflects the additional political subdivisions to be served.

  7.  The public service commission shall issue a video service authorization allowing the video service provider to offer video service in the franchise area of each political subdivision set forth in the application within thirty days of receipt of an affidavit submitted by the applicant and signed by an officer or general partner of the applicant affirming the following:

  (1)  That the video service authorization holder agrees to comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations;

  (2)  A list of political subdivisions to be served by the applicant;

  (3)  The location of the principal place of business and the names of the principal executive officers of the applicant;

  (4)  That the video service provider has filed or will timely file with the Federal Communications Commission all forms required by that agency prior to offering video service;

  (5)  That the video service provider agrees to comply with all applicable regulations concerning use of the public rights-of-way as provided in sections 67.1830 to 67.1846; and

  (6)  That the video service provider is legally, financially, and technically qualified to provide video service.

  8.  The video service authorization issued by the public service commission shall contain the following:

  (1)  A grant of authority to provide video service in the franchise area of each political subdivision set forth in the application; and

  (2)  A grant of authority to construct a video service network along, across, or on public rights-of-way for the delivery of video service to the extent the video service provider or an affiliate did not otherwise possess a valid authorization to occupy the public rights-of-way.

  9.  (1)  No existing franchise or ordinance issued by a franchising entity shall be renewed or extended beyond the expiration date of such franchise.  Any person providing video service under a franchise, franchise extension or expired franchise or ordinance previously granted by a franchise entity may, at its option:

  (a)  Continue to provide service under the terms and conditions of such franchise, franchise extension, or ordinance; or

  (b)  Apply for a video service authorization as provided under this section in lieu of any or all such franchises, franchise extensions, or expired franchises; or

  (c)  Automatically convert the franchise, franchise extension, or expired franchise in a political subdivision into a state-issued video service authorization, any time after a video service provider other than an incumbent cable operator obtains a video service authorization for such political subdivision, provided that notice of the automatic conversion to the public service commission and the affected political subdivision is made and upon compliance with the provisions of sections 67.2675 to 67.2714.

  (2)  The franchise, franchise extension, or expired franchise previously granted by the franchise entity will terminate upon issuance of a video service authorization to the video service provider.  The terms of such video service authorization shall be as provided under the provisions of sections 67.2675 to 67.2714 and shall supersede the terms and conditions of the franchise, franchise extension, or expired franchise previously granted by the franchise entity.

  10.  At the time that any video service authorization is issued by the public service commission, the public service commission shall immediately make such issuance public by posting information on its website relating to the video service authorization, including specifically all political subdivisions covered by that authorization and the video service provider fee imposed.

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(L. 2007 S.B. 284)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2007 ----

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