§ 20.42  PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL AND GOVERNMENTAL ACCESS.
   (a)    access capacity. Within 120 of the of this franchise, grantee shall provide seven activated downstream in a standard definition (“SD”), or high definition (“HD”) digital format on grantee’s basic service tier. Grantee shall provide that seven activated downstream in SD or HD and shall not reduce the number of unless directed by the . For the first 120 after the of this franchise, the may draft and provide to grantee a written explanation regarding the that will soon be offered by the grantee on the grantee’s offering. The shall email the content of this explanation, which shall not exceed 250 words, to grantee and grantee shall, at its sole cost and free of charge to the , print flyers containing this explanation (“ flyer”) that shall be distributed to grantee’s field technicians serving the . The field technicians shall be instructed to include the flyer in all installation packets for the until such time as the are available in the .
   (b)    .
      (1)   Grantee shall use Channel 24 in its lineup as a means to provide ease of access by subscribers to the placed on numbers significantly higher than the have historically been placed under other franchises in the . This type of shall be referred to as a “ .” the shall serve as a navigation tool for subscribers, which shall display the group of on a single screen and also provide for easy navigation to a chosen access channel.
      (2)   Grantee shall use Channel 24 as a to display the required under this franchise. Grantee shall not include any other programming or on the unless the provides advance written consent.
      (3)   The mechanism shall allow subscribers to navigate directly from Channel 24 to the requested access in a single operation without any intermediate steps. When using the , subscribers shall be directed to the requested access in a high definition (HD) format if appropriate to the ’s level of service; otherwise, the shall be directed to the standard definition (SD) access . The mechanism shall allow subscribers to navigate directly from Channel 24 to the requested which shall be located on numbers 8214, 8215, 8216, 8217, 8218, 8219 and 8220 for the seven assigned .
      (4)   Grantee shall consult with the to determine the information displayed on the . However, the information shall have video and audio signal strength, signal quality, and functionality equivalent to the highest quality broadcast and commercial cable/satellite carried by the grantee on its in a mosaic format.
      (5)   While the parties recognize that while the primary signals of local broadcast stations are simulcast in SD and HD formats, the grantee’s obligation with respect to carriage of in HD and SD formats shall be as follows:
         (A)   Grantee agrees to carry any all in HD provided the entity originating the signal provides the grantee an HD signal. Further, grantee will downconvert any such signal to an SD format so that subscribers who choose not to subscribe to an HD package may receive said signal in an SD format; and
         (B)   Grantee is not required to convert a signal delivered in a lower quality format to a higher quality format. The shall have no obligation to provide a signal to the grantee in a digital format.
         (C)   All must be receivable by subscribers without special expense in addition to the expense paid to receive commercial services the receives. acknowledges that HD programming may require the viewer to have special viewer equipment (such as an HDTV and an HD-capable digital device/receiver), but any who can view an HD signal delivered via the at a receiver shall also be able to view the HD at that receiver, without additional charges or equipment. By agreeing to make available in HD format, grantee is not agreeing to provide free HD equipment to subscribers including complimentary municipal and educational accounts, or to modify its equipment or pricing policies in any manner. acknowledges that not every may be able to view HD programming (for example, because they do not have an HDTV in their home or have chosen not to take an HD-capable receiving device from grantee or other equipment provider) or on every television in the home.
         (D)   The grantee, upon request of the , will provide technical assistance or diagnostic services to determine whether or not the problem with the signals is the result of matters for which the grantee is responsible, and if so the grantee will take prompt corrective actions at no cost to the .
         (E)   The grantee will provide any on the basic service tier throughout the life of the franchise, or if there is no basic tier, shall provide the to any who subscribes to any level of cable video programming service, and otherwise in accordance with federal and state law. To the extent technically feasible, grantee shall, upon request from the , provide with quarterly viewership numbers for each of the carried on grantee’s .
         (F)   Grantee shall facilitate carriage of listings on its interactive programming guide, at no cost to the . At a minimum, the interactive programming guide shall include listings for BTV 14 on Channel 8214, BEC-TV 15 on Channel 8215 and BCAT 16 on Channel 8216 with the remaining located on numbers 8217 – 8220.
         (G)   If channels are selected through menu systems, the shall be displayed in the same manner as other , and with equivalent information regarding the programming on the . To the extent that any menu system is controlled by a third party, grantee shall ensure that the grantee will provide listings on that menu system, if it is provided with the programming information by the .
         (H)   The grantee shall not charge for use of the , equipment, facilities or services.
   (c)   Control of . The control and administration of the shall rest with the and the may delegate, from time to time over the term of this franchise, such control and administration to various entities as determined in ’s sole discretion.
   (d)   Transmission of . may be used for transmission of non-video signals in compliance with . This may include downstream transmission of data using a protocol such as TCP/IP or current industry standards. Should grantee develop the capability to provide bi-directional data transmission, spectrum capacity shall be sufficient to allow subscribers to transmit data to facilities.
   (e)   Access locations.
      (1)   In no event shall any access reallocations be made prior to 90 written notice to the by grantee, except for circumstances beyond grantee’s reasonable control.
      (2)   Grantee agrees not to encrypt the differently than other commercial available on the .
      (3)   In conjunction with any occurrence of any access (s) relocation, grantee shall provide a minimum of $7,000 of in-kind air time per event on advertiser supported (e.g. USA, TNT, TBS, Discovery Channel, or other comparable channels) for the purpose of airing ’s, or its designees’, pre-produced 30 second announcement explaining the change in location.
   (f)   Navigation to . Grantee agrees that if it utilizes a visual interface under its control on its for all , the shall be treated in a non-discriminatory fashion consistent with so that subscribers will have ready access to . This shall not be construed to require grantee to pay any third party fees that may result from this obligation.
   (g)   Ownership of . Grantee does not relinquish its ownership of or ultimate right of control over a by designating it for use. A access user – whether an individual, educational or governmental user – acquires no property or other interest by virtue of the use of a position so designated. Grantee shall not exercise editorial control over any public, educational, or governmental use of a position, except grantee may refuse to transmit any public access program or portion of a public access program that contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity in violation of applicable law.
   (h)   Noncommercial use of . Permitted noncommercial uses of the shall include by way of example and not limitation: (1) the identification of financial supporters similar to what is provided on public broadcasting stations; or (2) the solicitation of financial support for the provision of programming by the or third party users for charitable, educational or governmental purposes; or (3) programming offered by accredited, non-profit, educational institutions which may, for example, offer telecourses over a access .
   (i)   Dedicated fiber return lines. As soon as technically feasible and in no event longer than 120 , grantee shall provide and maintain, free of charge with no transport costs or other fees imposed, fiber paths to facilitate origination/return capacity between:
      (1)   The City Hall and the Grantee’s headend; and
      (2)   The Valley View Middle School, 8900 Portland Avenue South, and the grantee’s headend.
      In addition, grantee shall at all times provide and maintain, free of charge, a to the , required and free basic and to the City Hall and the Valley View Middle School, 8900 Portland Avenue South, to allow these facilities to view (live) the downstream programming on grantee’s so they can monitor the signals and make certain that programming is being properly received (picture and sound) by subscribers.
   (j)   Ancillary equipment. Any ancillary equipment operated by grantee for the benefit of on grantee’s fiber paths or , whether referred to switchers, routers or other equipment, will be maintained by grantee, at no cost to the or schools for the life of the franchise. Grantee is responsible for any ancillary equipment on its side of the demarcation point and the or school is responsible for all other production/playback equipment.
   (k)   Future fiber return lines for . At such time that the determines:
      (1)   That the desires the capacity to allow subscribers in the to receive programming (video or character generated) which may originate from schools, facilities, other government facilities or other designated facilities (other than those indicated in subsection (i)); or
      (2)   That the desires to establish or change a location from which programming is originated; or
      (3)   That the desires to upgrade the to grantee from an existing signal point of origination, the will give grantee written notice detailing the point of origination and the capability sought by the . Grantee agrees to submit a cost estimate to implement the ’s plan within a reasonable period of time but not later than September 1 in the year preceding the request for any costs exceeding $25,000. The cost estimate will be on a time and materials basis with no additional markup. After an agreement to reimburse grantee for grantee’s out of pocket time and material costs, grantee will implement any necessary changes within a reasonable period of time. Nothing herein prevents the , or a private contractor retained by the , from constructing said return fiber.)
   (l)   Access carriage.
      (1)   Any and all costs associated with any modification of the or signals after the /signals leave the ’s designated playback facilities, or any designated playback center authorized by the shall be borne entirely by grantee. Grantee shall not cause any programming to override programming on any access , except by oral or written permission from the , with the exception of emergency alert signals.
      (2)   The may request and grantee shall provide an additional access when the cumulative time on all the existing combined meets the following standard: whenever one of the in use during 80% of the weekdays, Monday through Friday, for 80% of the time during a consecutive three hour period for six weeks running, and there is a demand for use of an additional for the same purpose, the grantee has six months in which to provide a new, access for the same purpose; provided that, the provision of the additional or does not require the to install .
      (3)   The VHF spectrum shall be used for one of the public, educational, or governmental specially designated .
      (4)   The or its designee shall be responsible for developing, implementing, interpreting and enforcing rules for access use.
      (5)   The grantee shall monitor the for technical quality to ensure that they meet technical standards including those applicable to the carriage of , provided however, that the grantee is not responsible for the production quality of programming productions. The , or its designee, shall be responsible for the production and quality of all access programming. Grantee shall carry all components of the standard definition of access including, but not limited to, closed captioning, stereo audio and other elements associated with the programming.
   (m)   Access support.
      (1)   Upon the of this franchise, grantee shall collect and remit to the $1.40 per per month in support of capital (“ fee”). In the event the incumbent cable provider is required to or agrees to a higher, or lower, fee, grantee will increase, or decrease, its fee upon 60 written notice from the . However, during the term of this franchise the fee shall not exceed $1.60 per per month. In no event shall the fee be assessed in an amount different from that imposed upon the incumbent cable provider. The fee may be used for operational or capital support of programming as determined in the ’s discretion.
         Grantee agrees that financial support for arising from or relating to the obligations set forth in this section shall in no way modify or otherwise affect grantee’s obligations to pay to the . Grantee agrees that although the sum of plus the payments set forth in this section may total more than 5% of grantee’s in any 12 month period, the additional commitments shall not be offset or otherwise credited in any way against any payments under this franchise.
      (2)   The fee is not intended to represent part of the and are intended to fall within one or more of the exceptions in 47 U.S.C. § 542. The fee may be categorized, itemized, and passed through to subscribers as permissible, in accordance with 47 U.S.C. § 542 or other . Grantee shall pay the fee to the quarterly at the same time as the payment of under § 20.51 of the franchise. Grantee agrees that it will not offset or reduce its payment of past, present or future required as a result of its obligation to remit the funds or the fee.
      (3)   Any fees owing pursuant to this franchise which remain unpaid more than 25 after the date the payment is due shall be delinquent and shall thereafter accrue interest at 12% per annum.
   (n)    technical quality.
      (1)   Grantee shall not be required to carry a access in a higher quality format than that of the signal delivered to grantee, but grantee shall not implement a change in the method of delivery of that results in a material degradation of signal quality or impairment of viewer reception of , provided that this requirement shall not prohibit grantee from implementing new technologies also utilized for commercial carried on its . grantee shall meet signal quality standards when offering on its and shall continue to comply with closed captioning pass-through requirements. There shall be no significant deterioration in an signal from the point of origination upstream to the point of reception downstream on the . Grantee shall distribute the access signal without degradation and consistent with the manner in which grantee delivers the average commercial .
      (2)   Within 24 hours of a written request from to the grantee identifying a technical problem with an access and requesting assistance, grantee will provide technical assistance or diagnostic services to determine whether or not a problem with a signal is the result of matters for which grantee is responsible and if so, grantee will take prompt corrective action. If the problem persists and there is a dispute about the cause, then the parties shall meet with engineering representation from grantee and the in order to determine the course of action to remedy the problem.
   (o)   Access promotion. Grantee shall allow the to print and mail a post card for promoting a designated entity’s service or generally promoting community programming, to households in the subscribing to grantee’s at a cost to the not to exceed grantee’s out of pocket cost, no less frequently than twice per year, or at such time as a access is moved or relocated, upon the written request of the . The post card shall be designed by the and shall conform to the grantee’s standards and policies for size and weight. Any post card denigrating the grantee, its service or its programming is not permitted. The agrees to pay grantee in advance for the actual cost of such post card.
   (p)   Change in technology. In the event grantee makes any change in the and related equipment and facilities or in its signal delivery technology, which requires the to obtain new equipment in order to be compatible with such change for purposes of transport and delivery of the , grantee shall, at its own expense and free of charge to or its designated entities, purchase such equipment as may be necessary to facilitate the cablecasting of the in accordance with the requirements of the franchise.
   (q)   Relocation of grantee’s headend. In the event grantee relocates its headend, grantee will be responsible for replacing or restoring the existing dedicated fiber connections at grantee’s cost so that all the functions and capacity remain available, operate reliably and satisfy all applicable technical standards and related obligations of the franchise free of charge to the or its designated entities.
   (r)   Regional Channel Six. Grantee shall make available Regional Channel Six as long as it is required to do so by the State of Minnesota.
   (s)   Compliance with M.S. Chapter 238. In addition to the requirements contained in this § 20.42 of this franchise, grantee and shall comply with the requirements mandated by M.S. § 238.084, as it may be amended from time to time.
(Ord. 2015-36, passed 11-16-2015)