66-356. Service standards and requirements.

(a) Discrimination Prohibited. - A person who provides cable service over a cable system may not deny access to the service to any group of potential residential subscribers within the filed service area because of the race or income of the residents. A violation of this subsection is an unfair or deceptive act or practice under G.S. 75-1.1.

In determining whether a cable service provider has violated this subsection with respect to a group of potential residential subscribers in a service area, the following factors must be considered:

(1) The length of time since the provider filed the notice of service for the area. If less than a year has elapsed since the notice of service was filed, it is conclusively presumed that a violation has not occurred.

(2) The cost of providing service to the affected group due to distance from facilities, density, or other factors.

(3) Technological impediments to providing service to the affected group.

(4) Inability to obtain access to property required to provide service to the affected group.

(5) Competitive pressure to respond to service offered by another cable service provider or other provider of video programming.

(b) FCC Standards. - A person who provides cable service over a cable system must comply with the customer service requirements in 47 C.F.R. Part 76 and emergency alert requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission.

(c) Complaints. - The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office is designated as the State agency to receive and respond to customer complaints concerning cable services. Persistent or repeated violations of the federal customer service requirements or the terms and conditions of the cable service provider's agreement with customers are unfair or deceptive acts or practices under G.S. 75-1.1.

To facilitate the resolution of customer complaints, the cable service provider must include the following statement on the customer's bill: "If you have a complaint about your cable service, you should first contact customer service at the following telephone number: (insert the cable service provider's customer service telephone number). If the cable service provider does not satisfactorily resolve your complaint, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office of the State of North Carolina (insert information on how to contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office).

(d) No Build-Out. - No build-out requirements apply to a person who provides cable service under a State-issued franchise.

(e) [Report to Revenue Laws Study Committee. - ] The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office must report to the Revenue Laws Study Committee on or before April 1 of each year, beginning April 1, 2008, on the following information concerning cable service complaints the Division has received from cable customers under this section:

(1) The number of customer complaints.

(2) The types of customer complaints.

(3) The different means of resolving customer complaints. (2006-151, ss. 1, 18.)