Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Unless approved by the County and to the extent consistent with federal law, a franchisee must not, in its cable service rates or charges, or in the availability of its cable services, or in any other respect, grant undue preferences or advantages to any subscriber or potential subscriber, or to any user or potential user, nor subject any of these persons to any undue prejudice or any disadvantage. Unless prohibited by applicable federal law, the County may require the franchisee to have a uniform rate structure for its cable services throughout the franchise area. A franchisee must not deny, delay, or otherwise burden service or discriminate against subscribers or users on the basis of age, race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, national origin, or marital status, except for discounts for the elderly and handicapped, as defined in Chapter 27.
(b) A franchisee must not deny cable service to any potential subscriber because of the income of the residents of the area in which the subscriber resides.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, a franchisee must not enter into an agreement with a programming service or broadcast station that provides for:
(A) the exclusive distribution or retransmission of programming by the franchisee within any area of the County; or
(B) a refusal by the programming service or broadcast station to deal with a competing multichannel provider in the County.
(2) The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) may not be construed to apply to a provision in an agreement that provides for bona-fide volume discounts that are either cost-based or which otherwise would be applied equally to both affiliated or unaffiliated customers of the programming service or broadcast station.
(3) This subsection does not apply to any agreement between a franchisee and a programming service or broadcast station entered into before July 21, 1992. It does apply to any subsequent amendments that extend the term of the agreement. Any subsequent renewal of a franchise by the County after that date must be conditioned on compliance with paragraph (1) with regard to all programming, including any agreement entered into on or before July 21, 1992.
Editor’s note—Section 8A-15 is quoted in Doe v. Montgomery County Board of Elections, 406 Md. 697, 962 A.2d 342 (2008) and cited in Conaway v. Deane, 401 Md. 219, 932 A.2d 571 (2007).
2019 L.M.C., ch. 26, § 2, states: This Act is known as the “Montgomery County CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act.”