66-352. Award of franchise and commencement of service.

(a) Notice of Franchise. - A person who intends to provide cable service over a cable system in an area must file a notice of franchise with the Secretary before providing the service. A person who files a notice of franchise must pay a fee in the amount set in G.S. 57D-1-22 for filing articles of organization.

A notice of franchise is effective when it is filed with the Secretary. The notice of franchise must include all of the following:

(1) The applicant's name, principal place of business, mailing address, physical address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

(2) A description and map of the area to be served. If the description includes the area within the boundaries of a city, the area to be served is considered to include any area that is subsequently annexed to the city unless the notice limits the area to be served to the boundaries of the city on the effective date of the notice.

(3) A list of each county and city in which the described service area is located, in whole or in part.

(4) A schedule indicating when service is expected to be offered in the service area.

(b) Commencement of Service. - A person who files a notice of franchise under subsection (a) of this section must begin providing cable service in the service area described in the notice within 120 days after the notice is filed. If cable service does not begin within this period, the notice of franchise terminates 130 days after it was filed. If cable service begins within this period, the holder of the State-issued franchise must file a notice of service with the Secretary within 10 days after the cable service begins. Cable service begins when it passes one or more households in the described service area. This subsection does not apply to a cable service provider who terminates an existing agreement whose franchise area includes all of the service area described in a notice of franchise filed by the provider under subsection (a) of this section.

A notice of service for a service area must include all of the following:

(1) The effective date of a notice of franchise for that area.

(2) A description and map of the service area.

(3) A statement that cable service has begun in the service area.

(c) Extension. - A person who intends to provide cable service over a cable system in an area that is contiguous with but outside the service area described in a notice of franchise on file with the Secretary must file a notice of franchise under subsection (a) of this section that includes the proposed area. The initial service requirements in subsection (b) of this section apply to the proposed area. If the map of the area to be served includes any area that is part of the service area of another State-issued franchise, the termination of a notice of franchise for the proposed area for failure to begin service within the required time does not affect the status of the other State-issued franchise.

(d) Withdrawal. - A person may withdraw a notice of franchise by filing a notice of withdrawal with the Secretary. The notice of withdrawal must be filed at least 90 days before the service is withdrawn. (2006-151, s. 1; 2008-148, s. 5; 2013-157, s. 18.)