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Title: PUBLIC UTILITIES
Section: Certificate of approval, system-wide franchise for CATV operations.
17. a. The board shall issue a certificate of approval or a system-wide franchise, as appropriate, when, after reviewing the application, and after the required meeting and hearings have been held pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-16), the applicant establishes to the board's satisfaction that the applicant has all the municipal consents necessary to support the application, if such consents are required, and that such consents and the issuance thereof are in conformity with the requirements of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-1 et seq.), and that the applicant has complied or is ready, willing and able to comply with all applicable rules and regulations imposed by or pursuant to State or federal law as preconditions for engaging in the applicant's proposed CATV operations; provided, that in the case of any application for a certificate of approval which has omitted the attachment of municipal consent in the circumstance provided for in subsection a. of section 16 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-16), the board shall condition the issuance of the certificate upon the applicant's reasonably prompt attainment of the omitted municipal consent or reasonably prompt initiation of proceedings under subsection d. of this section. b. In considering any application for a certificate of approval, the board shall take into consideration the probable effects upon both the area for which certification is sought and neighboring areas not covered in the municipal consents; and if it finds that the probable effects, for technical and financial reasons, would be to impede the development of adequate cable service, or create an unreasonable duplication of services likely to be detrimental to the development of adequate cable service in any area either within or without the area for which certification is sought, it may deny the certificate or it may amend the certificate in issuing it so as to: (1) Direct that areas covered in the application be excluded from the area certified; or (2) Direct that areas not covered in the application be included in the area certified. c. No such certificate of approval amended pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be issued except after hearing of which each affected municipality shall be given notice and afforded opportunity to be heard. No such amended certificate of approval shall be issued which would impair the terms of any existing certificate of approval or of any municipal consent upon which such existing certificate is based, except with the consent of the holder of such existing certificate and of any municipality having issued such municipal consent. d. If a municipality shall arbitrarily refuse to grant the municipal consent required under the terms of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-1 et seq.) prerequisite to issuance of a certificate, or to act upon an application for such municipal consent within 90 days after such application is filed, then the applicant may avoid the necessity of first obtaining such municipal consent by showing to the satisfaction of the board that the municipal consent is being arbitrarily withheld. But any CATV company certificated without municipal consent shall nevertheless pay the franchise tax to the municipality imposed under section 30 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-30). An application for certificate filed pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $1,000. e. If any municipality or county shall refuse to any CATV company, whether the holder of a municipal consent from that municipality or otherwise, any zoning variance or other municipal act or authorization, or any county act or authorization, necessary to permit such CATV company to locate any facility of such CATV company within such municipality or county, or to install transmission facilities through such municipality or county for the purpose of serving subscribers or customers in any area for which such CATV company has been issued a certificate or system-wide franchise by the board, the CATV company may apply to the board for an order setting aside such municipal or county refusal and permitting such location of facility or installation of transmission facilities as requested by the CATV company. An application pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $500. The board, after hearing upon notice and full opportunity for both the applicant and the municipality or county to be heard, shall issue such order when it appears to the board's satisfaction that such permission is necessary to enable the CATV company to provide safe, adequate and proper CATV service to its customers or subscribers in the manner required by P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-1 et seq.) and that such location or installation will not adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare. f. The director shall issue a certificate of approval to any CATV company lawfully engaged in the construction, extension or operation of a CATV system within the boundaries of the municipality cited in the application, for the construction, extension or operation then being conducted within such municipality, without further review, if application for such certificate is filed with the board within 90 days after such effective date. The construction, extension or operation of such a CATV system may be lawfully continued pending the filing of such an application unless the director orders otherwise. An application for such certificate which is untimely shall be determined in accordance with the procedures prescribed in subsections a. through d. of this section. A certificate of approval issued under this subsection shall expire five years from the date of issuance; and no CATV company holding such certificate shall be authorized to continue its operations after such expiration unless prior thereto it shall have obtained a certificate of approval under the procedures specified in subsections a. through d. of this section, except that such a CATV company which has initiated proceedings for certification under subsections a. through d. of this section prior to the expiration of a certificate of approval granted under this subsection may continue its operations pending the final disposition of such proceedings. An application pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $50. L.1972,c.186,s.17; amended 1986, c.163; 2006, c.83, s.13.
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