Text: H.R.3146 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)

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Introduced in House (06/30/2005)


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[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3146 Introduced in House (IH)]






109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3146

   To promote deployment of competitive video services and eliminate 
                 redundant and unnecessary regulation.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 30, 2005

  Mrs. Blackburn (for herself and Mr. Wynn) introduced the following 
    bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To promote deployment of competitive video services and eliminate 
                 redundant and unnecessary regulation.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

     This Act may be cited as the ``Video Choice Act of 2005''.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF VIDEO CHOICE REGULATORY RELIEF.

    The Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) is amended 
by adding at the end the following new title:

              ``TITLE VIII--VIDEO CHOICE REGULATORY RELIEF

``SEC. 801. DEFINITIONS.

    ``(a) Competitive Video Services Provider.--For purposes of this 
title, the term `competitive video services provider' means any 
provider of video programming, interactive on-demand services, other 
programming services, or any other video services, who has, pursuant to 
any Federal, State, or local law, any right, permission, or authority 
to establish or use lines in or across public rights-of-way, which 
right, permission or authority does not rely on, and is independent of, 
any cable franchise obtained pursuant to section 621.
    ``(b) Other Terms.--For the purposes of this title, any term used 
in this title that is defined by section 602 has the meaning provided 
by that section.

``SEC. 802. REGULATORY RELIEF.

    ``(a) Redundant Franchises Prohibited.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of this Act, no competitive video services provider may be 
required, whether pursuant to section 621 or to any other provision of 
Federal, State, or local law, to obtain a franchise, in order to 
provide any video programming, interactive on-demand services, other 
programming services, or any other video services in any geographic 
area if the provider has, pursuant to any Federal, State, or local law, 
any right, permission, or authority to establish lines in or across 
public rights-of-way in such geographic area, which right, permission 
or authority does not rely on, and is independent of, any cable 
franchise obtained pursuant to section 621.
    ``(b) Fees.--
            ``(1) Fees permitted.--Any competitive video services 
        provider may be subject to the payment of fees to a local 
        franchising authority, based on the gross revenues of the 
        provider within the jurisdiction of such franchising authority, 
        subject to the limitations of paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Limits on fees.--In determining the fees that may be 
        required under paragraph (1)--
                    ``(A) the rate at which fees are imposed shall not 
                exceed--
                            ``(i) the rate at which franchise fees are 
                        imposed on any cable operator providing cable 
                        service in the jurisdiction of the franchising 
                        authority, as determined in accordance with 
                        section 622 and any related regulations; or
                            ``(ii) in any jurisdiction in which no 
                        cable operator provides service, no more than 
                        the rate at which franchise fees could be 
                        imposed rate on a cable operator in accordance 
                        with section 622 and any related regulations; 
                        and
                    ``(B) the only revenues that shall be considered 
                are those attributable to services that would be 
                considered in calculating franchise fees if the 
                provider were deemed a cable operator for purposes of 
                section 622 and any related regulations.
            ``(3) Itemized billing permitted.--The competitive video 
        services provider may designate that portion of the end user's 
        bill attributable to the fee under this subsection as a 
        separate item on the bill.
    ``(c) Regulatory Treatment.--
            ``(1) Obligations and duties.--Any competitive video 
        services provider shall--
                    ``(A) be subject to the retransmission consent 
                provisions of section 325(b);
                    ``(B) carry, within each local franchise area, any 
                public, educational, or governmental use channels that 
                are carried by cable operators within such franchise 
                area, and, in any franchise area not served by a cable 
                operator, provide reasonable public, educational or 
                governmental access facilities pursuant to section 611;
                    ``(C) carry the signals of local commercial 
                television stations as required by section 614;
                    ``(D) carry the signals of local noncommercial 
                educational television stations as required by section 
                615;
                    ``(E) not deny services to any group of potential 
                residential subscribers because of the income of the 
                residents of the local area in which such group 
                resides;
                    ``(F) be entitled to the benefits and protection of 
                section 628;
                    ``(G) protect the personally identifiable 
                information of its subscribers in the same manner as is 
                required of cable operators with respect to subscribers 
                to cable services under section 631;
                    ``(H) comply with any consumer protection and 
                customer service requirements promulgated by the 
                Commission pursuant to section 632;
                    ``(I) be entitled to the benefits and protection of 
                section 633;
                    ``(J) be subject to the requirements of section 
                641;
                    ``(K) be subject to the prohibition on buy outs of 
                or by the incumbent cable operator under section 652; 
                and
                    ``(L) not be subject to any other provisions of 
                title VI of this Act.
            ``(2) Determinations of local signals.--For purposes of 
        complying with paragraphs (1) (C) and (D), a competitive video 
        service provider shall treat as local television stations with 
        respect to a customer located within the jurisdiction of any 
        franchising authority the same stations that are treated as 
        local television stations for a cable system located within 
        such jurisdiction.
    ``(d) Other Regulation Prohibited.--Except to the extent expressly 
provided in this title, neither the Commission nor any State or 
political subdivision thereof may regulate the rates, charges, terms, 
or conditions for, entry into, exit from, deployment or provision of, 
or any other aspect of the services provided by a competitive video 
services provider.
    ``(e) State and Local Government Authority.--Except as provided in 
subsection (a), nothing in this section affects the authority of a 
State or local government to manage the public rights-of-way.''.

SEC. 3. REGULATION OF COMMON CARRIERS.

    Section 651(a)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 
571(a)(3)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (A);
            (2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(C) if such carrier is a competitive video 
                services provider providing video programming pursuant 
                to title VIII of this Act, such carrier shall not be 
                subject to the requirements of this title except as 
                provided in title VIII.''.
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