For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The words “shall” and “will” are mandatory and “may” is permissive. Words not defined shall be given their common and ordinary meaning.
   ADDITIONAL SERVICE. Any cable service other than basic service provided over the system.
   BASIC CABLE SERVICE. Any cable service tier that includes the lawful retransmission of local television broadcast signals and any public, educational and governmental access programming required by this chapter or a franchise agreement to be carried on the basic tier. BASIC CABLE SERVICE, as defined herein, shall be consistent with 47 U.S.C. § 543(b)(7) (1997), and shall include any signal of any television broadcast station that is provided by a grantee to any subscriber, except a signal which is secondarily transmitted by a satellite carrier beyond the local service area of such station. Additional signals may be added to the basic tier by the grantee.
   BOARD. The County Board of Commissioners of the County of Surry, North Carolina, or its delegates.
   CABLE ACT, CABLE INTERNET SERVICE. Any cable service offered by a grantee whereby persons receive access to the internet or high-speed data information services through the cable system.
   CABLE SERVICE or SERVICE. The one-way transmission to subscribers of (i) video programming, or (ii) other programming service; subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection or use of such video programming or other programming service; and, for purposes of this chapter, CABLE INTERNET SERVICE shall be considered information service unless determined otherwise by state or federal law.
   CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM or CABLE SYSTEM. A facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception and control equipment that is designed to provide cable service to multiple subscribers within the franchise area, but such term does not include: a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; a facility that serves subscribers without using any public right-of-way; or a facility of a common carrier which is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of 47 U.S.C. §§ 201 through 226; except that, such facility shall be considered a cable system to the extent such facility, whether on a common carrier basis or otherwise, is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers.
   CAPITAL CONTRIBUTION. A contribution provided by a grantee as determined in a franchise agreement that may, at the county’s discretion, be utilized for the capital costs of the municipal access channel facilities, or to help defray the costs of an I-Net.
   CHANNEL. A portion of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum that is capable of carrying one standard video signal, in either analog or digital form. Consistent with future changes in technology and/or applicable law, the parties may mutually agree to a different definition in an individual franchise agreement.
   COMPLAINT. Any written or electronic inquiry, allegation or assertion, made by a person regarding service.
   CONTROL. The holding of legal or financial control of or over the holder of the franchise, the service provider or system owner or operator, regardless of whether such control is direct or indirect, or is exercised or is permitted to be exercised directly or indirectly through other persons, holdings or entities. CONTROL shall always be deemed to rest in the hands of any person or entity that has the right or authority to establish or change any policy or practice of the holder of the franchise or the service provider, whether such control may be exercised directly, or indirectly through other persons, holdings or entities.
   CONVERTER. An electronic device that converts signals to a frequency not susceptible to interference within the television receiver of a subscriber and, through the use of an appropriate channel selector, permits a subscriber to view all authorized subscriber signals delivered at designated converter dial locations.
   COUNTY. The County of Surry, North Carolina, as it is now, or may in the future be, constituted.
   COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR. A person designated by the County Manager to represent the county in all business with the grantee.
   DIRECT INCREMENTAL COSTS. The costs actually incurred by grantee in meeting an obligation under its franchise which grantee would not otherwise have incurred in order to either operate and conduct the business of its cable system or meet another obligation of the franchise.
   DOWNSTREAM SIGNAL. A signal originating from or provided by a system to a subscriber terminal or other terminal including video, audio, or digital signals or any other type of data or information for either programs or other uses such as security alert services, etc.
   DROP. The cable or cables that connect users of the system to the distribution system in order to receive service.
   EDUCATIONAL ACCESS CHANNELS. Channels specially designated for locally produced non- commercial educational access programming use.
   EFFECTIVE DATE. The date a franchise becomes effective in accordance with the franchise and the rules and procedures of the county.
   FAIR MARKET VALUE. The price that a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller for a going concern based on the system valuation prevailing in the industry at the time.
   FCC. The Federal Communications Commission or a designated representative.
   FRANCHISE. The rights and obligations extended by the County of Surry pursuant to an initial authorization or a renewal thereof, to a person to own, lease, construct, maintain or operate a cable system in the right-of-way within the franchise area for the purpose of providing cable services. Any such authorization, in whatever form granted, shall not mean or include:
      (1)   Any other permit or authorization required for the privilege of transacting and carrying on a business within the county required by the ordinances and laws of the county, including the provision of telecommunications services; and
      (2)   Any generally applicable non-discriminatory permit, agreement or authorization required in connection with operations in the right-of-way including, without limitation, permits and agreements for placing devices on or in poles, conduits or other structures, whether owned by the county or a private entity, or for excavating or performing other work in or along the right-of-way.
   FRANCHISE AGREEMENT. The document which grants a franchise pursuant to this chapter.
   FRANCHISE AREA. The geographic area for which a franchise is granted under the authority of this chapter. If not otherwise specifically stated in the franchise agreement, the FRANCHISE AREA shall be the entire geographic unincorporated area within the county as it is now, or may in the future be, constituted.
   FRANCHISE FEE. Any tax, fee or assessment of any kind imposed by the county or other governmental entity on a grantee solely because of its status and activities as such. The term FRANCHISE FEE does not include:
      (1)   Any tax, fee or assessment of general applicability (including any such tax, fee or assessment imposed on both utilities and cable operators or their services, but not including a tax, fee or assessment that is unduly discriminatory against cable operators or cable subscribers);
      (2)   Capital costs that are required by a franchise agreement to be incurred by a grantee for public access channels equipment and facilities;
      (3)   Requirements or charges incidental to the award or enforcement of a franchise, including payments for bonds, security funds, letters of credit, insurance, indemnification, compliance audits, penalties or liquidated damages; or
      (4)   Any fee imposed under U.S.C. Title 17.
   GOVERNMENT ACCESS CHANNELS. Channels specially designated for locally produced non- commercial governmental access programming use.
   GRANTEE. A person who is granted a franchise or that person’s lawful successors, transferees or assignees.
   GRANTOR. The County.
      (1)   Any and all revenue, whether received in the form of cash, credits, barter, trade, property or consideration of any kind or nature, arising from, attributable to or in any way derived by the grantee from the operation of a grantee’s system to provide cable service, whether such revenue is received by the grantee, its affiliates or any person in which the grantee has a financial interest, or by any other person who operates the system, directly or indirectly. This definition is intended to reach as broadly as possible to encompass all revenue. GROSS REVENUE includes, by way of illustration and not limitation, amounts charged for basic service; optional premium, per-channel, per-program services; cable programming services; audio services; launch fees; channel guide subscriptions; installation, disconnection, reconnection and changes-in-service; equipment sales or rentals; leased channel fees; late fees and administrative charges of any type; consideration received from programmers; advertising revenue; and revenue from the sale of subscriber names and addresses. To the extent that grantee receives revenue from cable services provided to a subscriber for a fixed price that also includes non-cable services (i.e., those services are “bundled”), the grantee shall allocate an appropriate portion of those revenues for inclusion in gross revenues. If the fixed price of the bundled services is lower than the aggregate of the prices of those services if purchased individually, then the appropriate amount of the revenue to be allocated to each service shall be proportional to the individual price of that service when compared to the aggregate of the individual prices of those services when unbundled.
      (2)   GROSS REVENUES shall not include:
         (a)   Bad debt, except to the extent that bad debt is recovered;
         (b)   The revenue of any person including, without limitation, a supplier of programming to the grantee to the extent that said revenue is also included in gross revenue of the grantee;
         (c)   Pass-through payments received by the grantee from third-party programmers to purchase services from entities other than the grantee, which services benefit, only the third-party programmers and for which the grantee neither received nor provides any consideration;
         (d)   Any taxes on services furnished by the grantee which are imposed directly on any subscriber by the state, the county or other governmental unit and which are collected by the grantee on behalf of said governmental unit. A franchise fee is not such a tax; or
         (e)   To the extent the scope of gross revenues is limited by federal law or judicial action, the definitions herein shall be so amended.
   HEADEND. The electronic control center of the system including components that amplify, filter and convert incoming broadcast and other television and electronic signals for distribution over the cable system.
   INSTITUTIONAL NETWORK or I-NET. Capacity, fibers or both, from both within the primary cable network and/or separately constructed networks that are dedicated to municipal users or other governmental and educational users as determined by the county for two-way, broadband, non-commercial, non-competitive, not-for-profit communications. The I-NET includes all equipment and maintenance of equipment required to make the capacity available including but not limited to fiber, cable modems, coaxial cable and all switching, routing, transmitting and receiving equipment necessary for the use of the I-NET, as determined in the individual franchise agreement.
   INSTITUTIONAL NETWORK SERVICES. The provision of an I-Net by a grantee to municipal users and other governmental and educational users as determined by the county, pursuant to the terms of a franchise agreement for non-commercial, non-competitive, not-for-profit applications including, but not limited to, two-way dedicated voice, data, video, internet and telephony channels connecting and interconnecting user facilities; computerized traffic-control systems; GIS systems; and the interconnection of facilities serving police, fire and other public safety systems.
   LOCKOUT DEVICE. A mechanical or electrical accessory to a subscriber’s terminal that inhibits the video or audio portions of a certain program or certain channel(s) provided by way of a cable system.
   NON-COMMERCIAL. Channels or programming that is operated on a not-for-profit basis.
   NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS. Those hours during which most similar businesses in the community are open to serve customers. In all cases, NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS must include some evening hours at least one night per week and/or some weekend hours.
   NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS. Any and all situations or conditions that are ordinarily within the control of a grantee, including, but not limited to, management or corporate decisions; employee conduct; staffing levels; special promotions; pay-per-view events; rate increases; regular peak or seasonal demand periods; electronic and video equipment; and maintenance, repair or upgrade of the cable system, and any associated computer or software systems. Those conditions that are not within the control of a grantee include, but are not limited to, natural disasters; civil disturbances; power outages; telephone network outages; and severe or unusual weather conditions. A condition shall not be deemed to be beyond the grantee’s control if committed by a corporation or other business entity which the grantee controls.
   OTHER PROGRAMMING SERVICE. Information that a grantee makes available to all subscribers generally.
   PERSON. Any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, individual, organization, company, governmental entity or any natural person.
   PUBLIC ACCESS CHANNELS. Channels specially designated for locally produced non- commercial public access programming use.
   PUBLIC BUILDING. A building, or any portion thereof, owned, leased or otherwise occupied by the county.
   REASONABLE NOTICE. Written notice addressed to the county or grantee at such location as the parties have designated in the franchise agreement as the address to which notice shall be transmitted to it, which notice shall be sent by certified mail and postmarked not less than seven business days prior to that day in which the party giving such notice shall commence any action which requires the giving of notice. In computing said seven days, holidays recognized by the county shall be excluded.
   RIGHT-OF-WAY. Each of the following which have been, or are hereafter, dedicated to the public and maintained by any public authority or by others and located within the county, including without limitation, the surface and space within, above and below any real property in which the county has an interest in law or equity, whether held in fee, or other estate or interest, or as a trustee for the public, including, but not limited to, any public street, boulevard, road, highway, freeway, lane, alley, court, sidewalk, parkway, swale, river, tunnel, viaduct, bridge, park or any other place, area, easements, rights-of-way and similar public property and areas, or real property owned by or under the control of the county.
   SCHOOL. Any state-accredited public or non-profit educational institution including primary and secondary schools, both public and private.
   SERVICE INTERRUPTION. The loss of picture or sound on one or more cable channels.
   STANDARD INSTALLATION. Any service drop not exceeding 150 feet from a single point or pedestal attachment to the subscriber’s residence.
   STATE-OF-THE-ART. The addition of new services and associated equipment as they are developed, available and when economically feasible and marketable to subscribers as specifically required under the terms of a franchise agreement.
   SUBSCRIBER. Any person who or which elects to subscribe for any purpose to cable service provided by a grantee by means of, or in connection with, the cable system, and whose premises or facilities are physically wired and lawfully activated to receive cable service from grantee’s cable system.
   SYSTEM. A grantee’s cable system operated pursuant to a franchise agreement within the franchise area.
   TRAINED REPRESENTATIVE. Employees of the grantee who have the authority and capability while speaking with a subscriber to, among other things, answer billing questions, adjust bills and schedule service and installation calls.
   UPSTREAM SIGNAL. A signal originating from a subscriber’s terminal to the head end of the system including video, audio or digital signals or any other type of data or information for either programs or other uses such as security alert services, etc.
(Ord. passed 12-19-2005)