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Cable Franchise

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Limitations of County Government

St. Mary's County Government is limited by State and Federal Regulations and is not authorized to regulate cable broadcast channels and\or the rate structure of the Franchisee.

Limitations of County’s Authorities Under Federal Law 47 U.S.C. 253.

In General. No State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement, may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.

State and Local Government Authority. Nothing in this section affects the authority of a State or local government to manage the public rights-of-way or to require fair and reasonable compensation from telecommunications providers, on a competitively neutral and nondiscriminatory basis, for use of public rights of way on a nondiscriminatory basis, if the compensation required is publicly disclosed by such government.

What is the Institutional Network (I-NET) ?

The I-Net is designed to provide intra-connectivity within the agency designated as an I-Net recipient. St. Mary's County has negotiated a combination of Fiber and Cable Modem locations for the I-Net. The I-Net will provide the "path" and\or "pipe" which allows the intra-connectivity. Resources that agencies make available to their connected I-Net locations and the configuration necessary to allow this access are not within the scope of the I-Net installation negotiated with the Cable Provider. Specifically, an I-Net connection is not "Free Internet" access. However, the I-Net will allow agencies to consolidate their internet access by purchasing this service from a local Internet Service Provider (ISP).

For example: St. Mary's County Government will utilize the I-Net to provide data communications between County offices and configure access to resources currently attached to the St. Mary's County network (Servers, Printers, Internet, etc...).

What are Franchise Fees?

Under the General Provisions section of the Cable Ordinance, St. Mary's County Government can require the Cable Operator to " fair compensation to the County for the occupation and use of local Public Rights-of-Way." Franchise Fees are paid quarterly.

Cable Franchise FAQs

Available Documents

National Association of County's (NACO) - NACO County Explorer