Goto Section: 76.970 | 76.975 | Table of Contents
Revised as of July 18, 2019
Goto Year:2018 |
§ 76.971 Commercial leased access terms and conditions.
Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 28769 , June 20, 2019.
(a)(1) Cable operators shall place leased access programmers that
request access to a tier actually used by most subscribers on any tier
that has a subscriber penetration of more than 50 percent, unless there
are technical or other compelling reasons for denying access to such
(2) Cable operators shall be permitted to make reasonable selections
when placing leased access channels at specific channel locations. The
Commission will evaluate disputes involving channel placement on a
case-by-case basis and will consider any evidence that an operator has
acted unreasonably in this regard.
(3) On systems with available leased access capacity sufficient to
satisfy current leased access demand, cable operators shall be required
to accommodate as expeditiously as possible all leased access requests
for programming that is not obscene or indecent. On systems with
insufficient available leased access capacity to satisfy current leased
access demand, cable operators shall be permitted to select from among
leased access programmers using objective, content-neutral criteria.
(4) Cable operators that have not satisfied their statutory leased
access requirements shall accommodate part-time leased access requests
as set forth in this paragraph. Cable operators shall not be required
to accept leases for less than one half-hour of programming. Cable
operators may accommodate part-time leased access requests by opening
additional channels for part-time use or providing comparable time
slots on channels currently carrying leased or non-leased access
programming. The comparability of time slots shall be determined by
objective factors such as day of the week, time of day, and audience
share. A cable operator that is unable to provide a comparable time
slot to accommodate a part-time programming request shall be required
to open an additional channel for part-time use unless such operator
has at least one channel designated for part-time leased access use
that is programmed with less than 18 hours of part-time leased access
programming every day. However, regardless of the availability of
partially programmed part-time leased access channels, a cable operator
shall be required to open an additional channel to accommodate any
request for part-time leased access for at least eight contiguous
hours, for the same time period every day, for at least a year. Once an
operator has opened a vacant channel to accommodate such a request, our
other leased access rules apply. If, however, the operator has
accommodated such a request on a channel already carrying an existing
full-time non-leased access programmer, the operator does not have to
accommodate other part-time requests of less than eight hours on that
channel until all other existing part-time leased access channels are
substantially filled with leased access programming.
(b) Cable operators may not apply programming production standards to
leased access that are any higher than those applied to public,
educational and governmental access channels.
(c) Cable operators are required to provide unaffiliated leased access
users the minimal level of technical support necessary for users to
present their material on the air, and may not unreasonably refuse to
cooperate with a leased access user in order to prevent that user from
obtaining channel capacity. Leased access users must reimburse
operators for the reasonable cost of any technical support actually
provided by the operator that is beyond that provided for non-leased
access programmers on the system. A cable operator may charge leased
access programmers for the use of technical equipment that is provided
at no charge for public, educational and governmental access
programming, provided that the operator's franchise agreement requires
it to provide the equipment and does not preclude such use, and the
equipment is not being used for any other non-leased access
programming. Cable operators that are required to purchase technical
equipment in order to accommodate a leased access programmer shall have
the option of either requiring the leased access programmer to pay the
full purchase price of the equipment, or purchasing the equipment and
leasing it to the leased access programmer at a reasonable rate. Leased
access programmers that are required to pay the full purchase price of
additional equipment shall have all rights of ownership associated with
the equipment under applicable state and local law.
(d) Cable operators may require reasonable security deposits or other
assurances from users who are unable to prepay in full for access to
leased commercial channels. Cable operators may impose reasonable
insurance requirements on leased access programmers. Cable operators
shall bear the burden of proof in establishing reasonableness.
(e) Cable operators may not set terms and conditions for commercial
leased access use based on content, except:
(1) To the limited extent necessary to establish a reasonable price for
the commercial use of designated channel capacity by an unaffiliated
(2) To comply with 47 U.S.C. 532 (h), (j) and § 76.701.
(f)(1) A cable operator shall provide billing and collection services
for commercial leased access cable programmers, unless the operator
demonstrates the existence of third party billing and collection
services which in terms of cost and accessibility, offer leased access
programmers an alternative substantially equivalent to that offered to
comparable non-leased access programmers.
(2) If an operator can make the showing required in paragraph (f)(1) of
this section, it must, to the extent technically feasible make
available data necessary to enable a third party to bill and collect
for the leased access user.
(g) Cable operators shall not unreasonably limit the length of leased
access contracts. The termination provisions of leased access contracts
shall be commercially reasonable and may not allow operators to
terminate leased access contracts without a reasonable basis.
(h) Cable operators may not prohibit the resale of leased access
capacity to persons unaffiliated with the operator, but may provide in
their leased access contracts that any sublessees will be subject to
the non-price terms and conditions that apply to the initial lessee,
and that, if the capacity is resold, the rate for the capacity shall be
the maximum permissible rate.
[ 58 FR 29753 , May 21, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 16401 , Apr. 15, 1996;
62 FR 11381 , Mar. 12, 1997]
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Goto Section: 76.970 | 76.975
Goto Year: 2018 |
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