66-355. Effect on existing local franchise agreement.

(a) Existing Agreement. - This Article does not affect an existing agreement except as follows:

(1) Effective January 1, 2007, gross revenue used to calculate the payment of the franchise tax imposed by G.S. 153A-154 or G.S. 160A-214 does not include gross receipts from cable service subject to sales tax under G.S. 105-164.4. This exclusion does not otherwise affect the calculation of gross revenue and the payment to counties and cities of franchise tax revenue under existing agreements that have not been terminated under subsection (b) of this section.

(2) A cable service provider under an existing agreement that is in effect on January 1, 2007, may terminate the agreement in accordance with subsection (b) of this section in any of the following circumstances:

a. A notice of service filed under G.S. 66-352 indicates that one or more households in the franchise area of the existing agreement are passed by both the cable service provider under the existing agreement and the holder of a State-issued franchise.

b. As of January 1, 2007, a county or city has an existing agreement with more than one cable service provider for substantially the same franchise area and at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the households in the franchise areas of the existing agreements are passed by more than one cable service provider.

c. A person provides wireline competition in the franchise area of the existing agreement by offering video programming over wireline facilities to single family households by a method that does not require a franchise under this Article. A notice of termination filed on the basis of wireline competition must include evidence of the competition in providing video programming service, such as an advertisement announcing the availability of the service, the acceptance of an order for the service, and information on the provider's Web site about the availability of the service. A county or city is allowed 60 days to review the evidence. The effective date of the termination is tolled during this review period. At the end of this period, the termination proceeds unless the county or city has obtained an order enjoining the termination based on the cable service provider's failure to establish the existence of wireline competition in its franchise area.

(3) A cable service provider under an existing agreement that expired before January 1, 2007, may obtain a State-issued franchise. The provider does not have to terminate the agreement in accordance with subsection (b) of this section because the agreement has expired.

(b) Termination. - To terminate an existing agreement, a cable service provider must file a notice of termination with the affected county or city and file a notice of franchise with the Secretary. A termination of an existing agreement becomes effective at the end of the month in which the notice of termination is filed with the affected county or city. A termination of an existing agreement ends the obligations under the agreement and under any local cable regulatory ordinance that specifically authorizes the agreement as of the effective date of the termination but does not affect the rights or liabilities of the county or city, a taxpayer, or another person arising under the existing agreement or local ordinance before the effective date of the termination. (2006-151, s. 1.)