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(a) A person seeking a franchise or a current franchisee must apply to the County for a new franchise, renewal of a franchise under the formal or informal procedures in Section 626 of the Cable Act, modification of a franchise agreement, transfer of a franchise, or a transfer of an interest in a franchisee if the transfer is subject to County approval. An applicant has the burden to demonstrate compliance with all application requirements of this Chapter.
(b) An applicant must:
(1) submit the number of copies of the application required by the County;
(2) pay the application filing fee specified in regulations;
(3) meet the requirements of any applicable request for proposals;
(4) identify in writing the name and address of any person authorized to act on behalf of the applicant with respect to the application; and
(5) certify to the County that the application includes all information required by this Chapter for the appropriate type of application.
(c) A person may apply for a new franchise in response to the County’s request for proposals or on an unsolicited basis. The County may issue a request for proposals when the County receives an unsolicited application or at any other time. If the County elects to issue a request for proposals after receiving an unsolicited application, the applicant may submit an amended application in response to the request for proposals, may inform the County that its unsolicited application should be considered as its response to the request for proposals, or may withdraw its unsolicited application. The County may reject an application that is unresponsive to a requirement of a request for proposals.
(d) An application for a new franchise must contain the following information:
(1) Identification of the persons who own or control the applicant, including:
(A) the names, addresses, and percentage interest of the 10 largest holders of an ownership interest in the applicant and all persons with an ownership interest of 5 percent or more;
(B) any other persons who control the applicant;
(C) all officers and directors of the applicant; and
(D) any other business affiliation and cable system ownership interest of each identified person.
(2) A statement addressing whether the applicant, or any other person controlling the applicant, or any officer or majority stockholder of the applicant;
(A) has been adjudged bankrupt;
(B) has had a cable franchise revoked; or
(C) has been found by any court or administrative agency to have violated a security or antitrust law or convicted of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.
Any statement under this paragraph must identify each person involved and explain the circumstances.
(3) A demonstration of the applicant's technical, legal, and financial ability, including financing sources and commitments, to construct and operate the proposed cable facility, identifying key personnel.
(4) A detailed description of the geographic area to be served by the cable system.
(5) If the applicant seeks a limited franchise under this Chapter, a description of how the proposal meets the requirements for a limited franchise, including the justification for any waiver of the minimum requirements.
(6) A detailed description of the physical facility proposed, including channel capacity, technical design, performance characteristics, headend, and access facilities and equipment.
(7) A description of the construction of the proposed system, including an estimate of above-ground and below-ground mileage and its location, the proposed construction schedule, a description, where appropriate, of how services will be converted from existing facilities to new facilities, and information on the availability of space on poles and conduits including an estimate of the cost of any necessary rearrangement of facilities.
(8) A demonstration of how the proposal will reasonably meet the future cable- related needs and interests of the community, including a description of how the proposal will meet the needs described in any recent community needs assessment conducted for the County.
(9) Pro forma financial projections for the first 10 years of the franchise term, including a statement of income, a balance sheet, sources and uses of funds, and schedule of capital additions, with all significant assumptions explained in notes or supporting schedules.
(10) An affidavit of the applicant or an authorized officer that:
(A) certifies the truth and accuracy of the information in the application;
(B) acknowledges the enforceability of application commitments; and
(C) certifies that the proposal meets all applicable federal and state requirements.
(11) If an applicant proposes to construct a cable system which would constitute an overbuild, the identification of the area where the overbuild would occur and the potential subscriber density in the area to be served by competing cable systems.
(12) A certification that the applicant has served a copy of its application on all existing franchisees.
(13) Any other information necessary to demonstrate compliance with this Chapter.
(e) An application to modify a franchise agreement must include the following information:
(1) The specific modification requested.
(2) The justification for the requested modification, including the impact of the requested modification on subscribers and others, and the impact on the applicant if the modification is not approved.
(3) A statement whether the modification is sought pursuant to Section 625 of the Cable Act, and, if so, a demonstration that the requested modification meets the legal standards of the Cable Act.
(4) Any other information necessary for the County to decide whether the modification complies with County law.
(f) An application to renew a franchise must comply with Section 8A-22.
(g) An application to transfer a franchise or an interest in a franchisee must comply with Section 8A-23.
(h) An applicant must certify that the application contains all required information.
(i) Within 10 business days after receiving an application for a new franchise for an overbuild, the County Executive must determine whether the application is complete under subsection (d). If the application is complete, the Executive must accept it for filing. If the application is not complete, the Executive must specify the additional information required under subsection (d) before the application can be accepted for filing.
(1) If the Executive rejects the application for filing, the applicant may resubmit or supplement the application with the additional information, and the Executive must reconsider, within the 10-day deadline starting on the date of resubmission, whether the application is complete under subsection (d).
(2) When the Executive accepts the application for filing, the Executive must make the application available for public inspection and forward the application to the Telecommunications Advisory Committee for review and comment.
Acceptance of an application as complete for filing does not limit the Executive’s authority to request additional information related to the criteria in Section 8A-9(e), or to recommend, after full review of the application, that the Council deny the application based on those criteria. (FY 1991 L.M.C., ch. 3, § 1; 1998 L.M.C., ch. 18, § 2; 2005 L.M.C., ch. 24, § 1; 2006 L.M.C., ch. 34, § 1.)