HOUSE BILL NO. 67
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION'S BILLING PROCEDURES FOR CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEMS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend §610(a), Subchapter VI, Title 26, Delaware Code by striking said subsection (a) in its entirety and replacing it with a new subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) The Commission is authorized to bill to and collect the cost of regulation of Cable Television Systems, as a franchise fee from every Commission regulated Franchisee. Such billing and collection shall be accomplished in the following manner:
(1) On or before March 31st of each year, each Franchisee subject to the provisions of this subchapter shall file with the Commission a report of Total Annual Basic Service Regulated Revenue containing a statement of its total annual basic service regulated revenues for the immediately preceding calendar year, and a check in payment of the Annual Assessment which shall be an amount equal to the product of two (2) mills multiplied by the total annual basic service regulated revenue of such Franchisee.
(2) Whenever the Commission, in a proceeding upon its own initiative or upon complaint or upon written application to it, shall deem it necessary in order to carry out its statutory duties, to investigate the operations, services, practices, accounting records and/or procedures, rates, charges, rules and regulations, of any Franchisee and/or to enter into and hold a hearing or hearings in connection therewith, such Franchisee shall be charged with and pay such portions of the expenses of the Commission, and the compensation and expenses of its agents, representatives, consultants, and employees, including but not limited to those temporarily employed or retained, as is reasonably attributable to such investigation, hearing or hearings or any appeal from a Commission Order. No charge shall be made for the compensation of Commissioners and all such bills shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days of rendition by the Commission. If more than one (1) Franchisee is involved in such proceedings, each shall pay its pro rata share of such expenses as determined by the Commission.
(3) If the Annual Assessment or any amount billed by the Commission is not paid within thirty (30) days from the due date the Franchisee shall pay in addition a penalty to the Commission of one (1) percent of the amount due for each month or fraction thereof that such amount is unpaid.
(4) The total aggregate amount to be charged by the Commission to any Franchisee under authority of this section in any calendar year shall not exceed 2 percent of such Franchisee's total annual basic service regulated revenue in the last preceding calendar year. This limitation shall not include amounts payable as a penalty. For purposes of this Section, the term "Total Annual Basic Service Regulated Revenue" shall only include the revenue received by the Franchisee from equipment and services which would be subject to Basic Service Rate Regulation by the Commission in the absence of effective competition including the basic monthly service charges for cable television reception service outside the boundaries of incorporated municipalities which on June 28, 1974, have the power either express or implied to grant franchises for a system and shall include moneys received as installation charges, charges for reconnection, inspection, repairs, or modifications of any installation. It shall not include local, state, or federal taxes or money received from : (1) Sale of advertising time on cable channels; (2) the furnishing of special programming not covered by the basic monthly service charge; (3) the furnishing of other communications services either by private contract or as a carrier, including by way of example but not limited to leasing of channels, burglar alarm, AM or FM radio broadcast, data transmission information storage and retrieval, the facsimile reproduction services; and (4) any source other than directly from the installation and carriage of television signals and such other basic cable television services as are subject to regulation by the Commission."
Approved June 12, 1995