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Title: PUBLIC UTILITIES
Section: Municipal consents, certificates of approval previously issued remain in effect, conversion to system-side franchise; conditions.
19. a. Municipal consents and certificates of approval for applications to provide cable television services in a municipality issued prior to the effective date of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.) shall remain in effect until such time as they may expire or until such time as the cable television company is granted a renewal of the franchise as a municipal franchise or converts the franchise to a system-wide franchise. Except as may otherwise be provided by subsection b. of this section and section 30 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-30), both the municipality and the cable television company shall be bound by the terms of the municipal consents and certificates of approval until such time as the municipal consents and certificates of approval have been converted into a system-wide franchise. A cable television company with a municipal franchise or franchises issued prior to the effective date of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.) may, if it wishes, automatically convert any or all such franchise or franchises into a system-wide franchise upon notice to the board and the affected municipality, but without the need for the consent of either the board or the affected municipality and without regard to the requirements of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.) applicable to applications for such a franchise, except that the commitments required pursuant to subsections h. through n. of section 28 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-28) shall be applicable to any or all such system-wide franchises and any failure of a CATV company to abide by or conform its practices to such commitments shall be considered a violation of the system-wide franchise and the board may enforce these provisions through the imposition of monetary penalties under section 51 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-51), or the suspension or revocation of the system-wide franchise, or it may seek to renew such franchise or franchises as a municipal franchise or franchises pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-1 et seq.). Such conversion need not take place with respect to all municipalities at the same time, but rather the cable television company may convert additional municipal franchises and add affected municipalities to the service area covered by such system-wide franchise at any time during the term of the system-wide franchise. b. If a cable television company is granted a system-wide franchise by the board pursuant to the provisions of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.), the company shall be able thereafter to be issued a municipal franchise or franchises and the renewal of a municipal franchise or franchises which had been issued prior to the effective date of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.). Nothing herein shall preclude a municipality from enforcing its right-of-way management powers on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis, except that such powers shall not include the authority to impose any fees, taxes, assessments or charges of any nature for the use of public rights-of-way by a CATV company except as expressly provided by P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.1 et al.). The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to relieve any cable television company issued a system-wide franchise of its obligations to meet the requirements of section 20 of P.L.2006, c.83 (C.48:5A-25.2). L.2006,c.83,s.19.
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