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(a) The following minimum requirements for facilities and services apply to all franchises:
(1) A cable system must have a minimum capacity of 54 video channels available for immediate or potential use.
(2) A cable system must provide at least 6 access channels, which must be individually designated by the County for public, educational or governmental access. The County may require the franchisee to contribute to capital costs for access studios and related equipment and facilities, as permitted by federal law.
(3) A cable system must provide leased access channels as required by federal law. The franchisee must provide information on all leased access channels in its annual report under Section 8A-13(a). This information must include a description of any applications to lease access channels that are pending consideration or which have been denied by the franchisee.
(4) Service to all public buildings without charge may be negotiated in the franchise agreement.
(5) Upon the directive of the County, a franchisee must interconnect the cable system access channels with those of other cable systems in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas and Frederick County or as otherwise provided in the franchise agreement.
(6) A franchisee must design its system to allow the County to interrupt cable service in an emergency to deliver necessary information to subscribers.
(b) The County may negotiate franchise terms exceeding the minimum requirements in subsection (a).
(c) The County may waive minimum requirements set forth in subsection (a) for limited franchises where the applicant demonstrates that a waiver is in the public interest. (FY 1991 L.M.C., ch. 3, § 1; 2006 L.M.C., ch. 34, § 1.)