Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2380
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Full Text of HB2380  102nd General Assembly

HB2380eng 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
HB2380 EngrossedLRB102 02861 SPS 12870 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Sections 13-406, 13-1200, 21-401, 21-1601, and 22-501 as
6follows:
 
7    (220 ILCS 5/13-406)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-406)
8    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2021)
9    Sec. 13-406. Abandonment of service.
10    (a) No telecommunications carrier offering or providing
11noncompetitive telecommunications service pursuant to a valid
12Certificate of Service Authority or certificate of public
13convenience and necessity shall discontinue or abandon such
14service once initiated until and unless it shall demonstrate,
15and the Commission finds, after notice and hearing, that such
16discontinuance or abandonment will not deprive customers of
17any necessary or essential telecommunications service or
18access thereto and is not otherwise contrary to the public
19interest. No telecommunications carrier offering or providing
20competitive telecommunications service shall completely
21discontinue or abandon such service to an identifiable class
22or group of customers once initiated except upon 60 days
23notice to the Commission and affected customers. The

 

 

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1Commission may, upon its own motion or upon complaint,
2investigate the proposed discontinuance or abandonment of a
3competitive telecommunications service and may, after notice
4and hearing, prohibit such proposed discontinuance or
5abandonment if the Commission finds that it would be contrary
6to the public interest. If the Commission does not provide
7notice of a hearing within 60 calendar days after the
8notification or holds a hearing and fails to find that the
9proposed discontinuation or abandonment would be contrary to
10the public interest, the provider may discontinue or abandon
11such service after providing at least 30 days' days notice to
12affected customers. This Section does not apply to a Large
13Electing Provider proceeding under Section 13-406.1.
14    (b) A Small Electing Provider may choose to cease offering
15or providing a telecommunications service pursuant to either
16this Section or Section 13-406.1 of this Act in the same manner
17as a Large Electing Provider. A Small Electing Provider that
18elects to cease offering or providing a telecommunications
19service pursuant to Section 13-406.1 shall be subject to all
20of the provisions that apply to a Large Electing Provider
21under Section 13-406.1. In this subsection (b), "Small
22Electing Provider" means an incumbent local exchange carrier,
23as defined in Section 13-202.5 of this Act, that is an Electing
24Provider, as defined in Section 13-506.2 of this Act, and
25that, together with all of its incumbent local exchange
26carrier affiliates offering telecommunications services within

 

 

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1the State of Illinois, has fewer than 40,000 subscriber access
2lines as of January 1, 2020.
3(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17.)
 
4    (220 ILCS 5/13-1200)
5    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2021)
6    Sec. 13-1200. Repealer. This Article is repealed December
731, 2024 2021.
8(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17; 101-639, eff. 6-12-20.)
 
9    (220 ILCS 5/21-401)
10    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2021)
11    Sec. 21-401. Applications.
12    (a)(1) A person or entity seeking to provide cable service
13or video service pursuant to this Article shall not use the
14public rights-of-way for the installation or construction of
15facilities for the provision of cable service or video service
16or offer cable service or video service until it has obtained a
17State-issued authorization to offer or provide cable or video
18service under this Section, except as provided for in item (2)
19of this subsection (a). All cable or video providers offering
20or providing service in this State shall have authorization
21pursuant to either (i) the Cable and Video Competition Law of
222007 (220 ILCS 5/21-100 et seq.); (ii) Section 11-42-11 of the
23Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-42-11); or (iii) Section
245-1095 of the Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/5-1095).

 

 

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1    (2) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a local unit of
2government from granting a permit to a person or entity for the
3use of the public rights-of-way to install or construct
4facilities to provide cable service or video service, at its
5sole discretion. No unit of local government shall be liable
6for denial or delay of a permit prior to the issuance of a
7State-issued authorization.
8    (b) The application to the Commission for State-issued
9authorization shall contain a completed affidavit submitted by
10the applicant and signed by an officer or general partner of
11the applicant affirming all of the following:
12        (1) That the applicant has filed or will timely file
13    with the Federal Communications Commission all forms
14    required by that agency in advance of offering cable
15    service or video service in this State.
16        (2) That the applicant agrees to comply with all
17    applicable federal and State statutes and regulations.
18        (3) That the applicant agrees to comply with all
19    applicable local unit of government regulations.
20        (4) An exact description of the cable service or video
21    service area where the cable service or video service will
22    be offered during the term of the State-issued
23    authorization. The service area shall be identified in
24    terms of either (i) exchanges, as that term is defined in
25    Section 13-206 of this Act; (ii) a collection of United
26    States Census Bureau Block numbers (13 digit); (iii) if

 

 

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1    the area is smaller than the areas identified in either
2    (i) or (ii), by geographic information system digital
3    boundaries meeting or exceeding national map accuracy
4    standards; or (iv) local unit of government. The
5    description shall include the number of low-income
6    households within the service area or footprint. If an
7    applicant is an incumbent cable operator, the incumbent
8    cable operator and any successor-in-interest shall be
9    obligated to provide access to cable services or video
10    services within any local units of government at the same
11    levels required by the local franchising authorities for
12    the local unit of government on June 30, 2007 (the
13    effective date of Public Act 95-9), and its application
14    shall provide a description of an area no smaller than the
15    service areas contained in its franchise or franchises
16    within the jurisdiction of the local unit of government in
17    which it seeks to offer cable or video service.
18        (5) The location and telephone number of the
19    applicant's principal place of business within this State
20    and the names of the applicant's principal executive
21    officers who are responsible for communications concerning
22    the application and the services to be offered pursuant to
23    the application, the applicant's legal name, and any name
24    or names under which the applicant does or will provide
25    cable services or video services in this State.
26        (6) A certification that the applicant has

 

 

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1    concurrently delivered a copy of the application to all
2    local units of government that include all or any part of
3    the service area identified in item (4) of this subsection
4    (b) within such local unit of government's jurisdictional
5    boundaries.
6        (7) The expected date that cable service or video
7    service will be initially offered in the area identified
8    in item (4) of this subsection (b). In the event that a
9    holder does not offer cable services or video services
10    within 3 months after the expected date, it shall amend
11    its application and update the expected date service will
12    be offered and explain the delay in offering cable
13    services or video services.
14        (8) For any entity that received State-issued
15    authorization prior to this amendatory Act of the 98th
16    General Assembly as a cable operator and that intends to
17    proceed as a cable operator under this Article, the entity
18    shall file a written affidavit with the Commission and
19    shall serve a copy of the affidavit with any local units of
20    government affected by the authorization within 30 days
21    after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
22    98th General Assembly stating that the holder will be
23    providing cable service under the State-issued
24    authorization.
25    The application shall include adequate assurance that the
26applicant possesses the financial, managerial, legal, and

 

 

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1technical qualifications necessary to construct and operate
2the proposed system, to promptly repair any damage to the
3public right-of-way caused by the applicant, and to pay the
4cost of removal of its facilities. To accomplish these
5requirements, the applicant may, at the time the applicant
6seeks to use the public rights-of-way in that jurisdiction, be
7required by the State of Illinois or later be required by the
8local unit of government, or both, to post a bond, produce a
9certificate of insurance, or otherwise demonstrate its
10financial responsibility.
11    The application shall include the applicant's general
12standards related to customer service required by Section
1322-501 of this Act, which shall include, but not be limited to,
14installation, disconnection, service and repair obligations;
15appointment hours; employee ID requirements; customer service
16telephone numbers and hours; procedures for billing, charges,
17deposits, refunds, and credits; procedures for termination of
18service; notice of deletion of programming service and changes
19related to transmission of programming or changes or increases
20in rates; use and availability of parental control or lock-out
21devices; complaint procedures and procedures for bill dispute
22resolution and a description of the rights and remedies
23available to consumers if the holder does not materially meet
24their customer service standards; and special services for
25customers with visual, hearing, or mobility disabilities.
26    (c)(1) The applicant may designate information that it

 

 

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1submits in its application or subsequent reports as
2confidential or proprietary, provided that the applicant
3states the reasons the confidential designation is necessary.
4The Commission shall provide adequate protection for such
5information pursuant to Section 4-404 of this Act. If the
6Commission, a local unit of government, or any other party
7seeks public disclosure of information designated as
8confidential, the Commission shall consider the confidential
9designation in a proceeding under the Illinois Administrative
10Procedure Act, and the burden of proof to demonstrate that the
11designated information is confidential shall be upon the
12applicant. Designated information shall remain confidential
13pending the Commission's determination of whether the
14information is entitled to confidential treatment. Information
15designated as confidential shall be provided to local units of
16government for purposes of assessing compliance with this
17Article as permitted under a Protective Order issued by the
18Commission pursuant to the Commission's rules and to the
19Attorney General pursuant to Section 6.5 of the Attorney
20General Act (15 ILCS 205/6.5). Information designated as
21confidential under this Section or determined to be
22confidential upon Commission review shall only be disclosed
23pursuant to a valid and enforceable subpoena or court order or
24as required by the Freedom of Information Act. Nothing herein
25shall delay the application approval timeframes set forth in
26this Article.

 

 

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1    (2) Information regarding the location of video services
2that have been or are being offered to the public and aggregate
3information included in the reports required by this Article
4shall not be designated or treated as confidential.
5    (d)(1) The Commission shall post all applications it
6receives under this Article on its web site within 5 business
7days.
8    (2) The Commission shall notify an applicant for a cable
9service or video service authorization whether the applicant's
10application and affidavit are complete on or before the 15th
11business day after the applicant submits the application. If
12the application and affidavit are not complete, the Commission
13shall state in its notice all of the reasons the application or
14affidavit are incomplete, and the applicant shall resubmit a
15complete application. The Commission shall have 30 days after
16submission by the applicant of a complete application and
17affidavit to issue the service authorization. If the
18Commission does not notify the applicant regarding the
19completeness of the application and affidavit or issue the
20service authorization within the time periods required under
21this subsection, the application and affidavit shall be
22considered complete and the service authorization issued upon
23the expiration of the 30th day.
24    (e) Any authorization issued by the Commission will expire
25on December 31, 2027 2024 and shall contain or include all of
26the following:

 

 

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1        (1) A grant of authority, including an authorization
2    issued prior to this amendatory Act of the 98th General
3    Assembly, to provide cable service or video service in the
4    service area footprint as requested in the application,
5    subject to the provisions of this Article in existence on
6    the date the grant of authority was issued, and any
7    modifications to this Article enacted at any time prior to
8    the date in Section 21-1601 of this Act, and to the laws of
9    the State and the ordinances, rules, and regulations of
10    the local units of government.
11        (2) A grant of authority to use, occupy, and construct
12    facilities in the public rights-of-way for the delivery of
13    cable service or video service in the service area
14    footprint, subject to the laws, ordinances, rules, or
15    regulations of this State and local units of governments.
16        (3) A statement that the grant of authority is subject
17    to lawful operation of the cable service or video service
18    by the applicant, its affiliated entities, or its
19    successors-in-interest.
20    (e-5) The Commission shall notify a local unit of
21government within 3 business days of the grant of any
22authorization within a service area footprint if that
23authorization includes any part of the local unit of
24government's jurisdictional boundaries and state whether the
25holder will be providing video service or cable service under
26the authorization.

 

 

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1    (f) The authorization issued pursuant to this Section by
2the Commission may be transferred to any successor-in-interest
3to the applicant to which it is initially granted without
4further Commission action if the successor-in-interest (i)
5submits an application and the information required by
6subsection (b) of this Section for the successor-in-interest
7and (ii) is not in violation of this Article or of any federal,
8State, or local law, ordinance, rule, or regulation. A
9successor-in-interest shall file its application and notice of
10transfer with the Commission and the relevant local units of
11government no less than 15 business days prior to the
12completion of the transfer. The Commission is not required or
13authorized to act upon the notice of transfer; however, the
14transfer is not effective until the Commission approves the
15successor-in-interest's application. A local unit of
16government or the Attorney General may seek to bar a transfer
17of ownership by filing suit in a court of competent
18jurisdiction predicated on the existence of a material and
19continuing breach of this Article by the holder, a pattern of
20noncompliance with customer service standards by the potential
21successor-in-interest, or the insolvency of the potential
22successor-in-interest. If a transfer is made when there are
23violations of this Article or of any federal, State, or local
24law, ordinance, rule, or regulation, the successor-in-interest
25shall be subject to 3 times the penalties provided for in this
26Article.

 

 

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1    (g) The authorization issued pursuant to this Section by
2the Commission may be terminated, or its cable service or
3video service area footprint may be modified, by the cable
4service provider or video service provider by submitting
5notice to the Commission and to the relevant local unit of
6government containing a description of the change on the same
7terms as the initial description pursuant to item (4) of
8subsection (b) of this Section. The Commission is not required
9or authorized to act upon that notice. It shall be a violation
10of this Article for a holder to discriminate against potential
11residential subscribers because of the race or income of the
12residents in the local area in which the group resides by
13terminating or modifying its cable service or video service
14area footprint. It shall be a violation of this Article for a
15holder to terminate or modify its cable service or video
16service area footprint if it leaves an area with no cable
17service or video service from any provider.
18    (h) The Commission's authority to administer this Article
19is limited to the powers and duties explicitly provided under
20this Article. Its authority under this Article does not
21include or limit the powers and duties that the Commission has
22under the other Articles of this Act, the Illinois
23Administrative Procedure Act, or any other law or regulation
24to conduct proceedings, other than as provided in subsection
25(c), or has to promulgate rules or regulations. The Commission
26shall not have the authority to limit or expand the

 

 

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1obligations and requirements provided in this Section or to
2regulate or control a person or entity to the extent that
3person or entity is providing cable service or video service,
4except as provided in this Article.
5(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17; 101-639, eff. 6-12-20.)
 
6    (220 ILCS 5/21-1601)
7    Sec. 21-1601. Repealer. Sections 21-101 through 21-1501 of
8this Article are repealed December 31, 2024 2021.
9(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17; 101-639, eff. 6-12-20.)
 
10    (220 ILCS 5/22-501)
11    Sec. 22-501. Customer service and privacy protection. All
12cable or video providers in this State shall comply with the
13following customer service requirements and privacy
14protections. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to an
15incumbent cable operator prior to January 1, 2008. For
16purposes of this paragraph, an incumbent cable operator means
17a person or entity that provided cable services in a
18particular area under a franchise agreement with a local unit
19of government pursuant to Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois
20Municipal Code or Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code on
21January 1, 2007. A master antenna television, satellite master
22antenna television, direct broadcast satellite, multipoint
23distribution service, and other provider of video programming
24shall only be subject to the provisions of this Article to the

 

 

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1extent permitted by federal law.
2    The following definitions apply to the terms used in this
3Article:
4    "Basic cable or video service" means any service offering
5or tier that includes the retransmission of local television
6broadcast signals.
7    "Cable or video provider" means any person or entity
8providing cable service or video service pursuant to
9authorization under (i) the Cable and Video Competition Law of
102007; (ii) Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code;
11(iii) Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code; or (iv) a master
12antenna television, satellite master antenna television,
13direct broadcast satellite, multipoint distribution services,
14and other providers of video programming, whatever their
15technology. A cable or video provider shall not include a
16landlord providing only broadcast video programming to a
17single-family home or other residential dwelling consisting of
184 units or less.
19    "Franchise" has the same meaning as found in 47 U.S.C.
20522(9).
21    "Local unit of government" means a city, village,
22incorporated town, or a county.
23    "Normal business hours" means those hours during which
24most similar businesses in the geographic area of the local
25unit of government are open to serve customers. In all cases,
26"normal business hours" must include some evening hours at

 

 

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1least one night per week or some weekend hours.
2    "Normal operating conditions" means those service
3conditions that are within the control of cable or video
4providers. Those conditions that are not within the control of
5cable or video providers include, but are not limited to,
6natural disasters, civil disturbances, power outages,
7telephone network outages, and severe or unusual weather
8conditions. Those conditions that are ordinarily within the
9control of cable or video providers include, but are not
10limited to, special promotions, pay-per-view events, rate
11increases, regular peak or seasonal demand periods, and
12maintenance or upgrade of the cable service or video service
13network.
14    "Service interruption" means the loss of picture or sound
15on one or more cable service or video service on one or more
16cable or video channels.
17    "Service line drop" means the point of connection between
18a premises and the cable or video network that enables the
19premises to receive cable service or video service.
20    (a) General customer service standards:
21        (1) Cable or video providers shall establish general
22    standards related to customer service, which shall
23    include, but not be limited to, installation,
24    disconnection, service and repair obligations; appointment
25    hours and employee ID requirements; customer service
26    telephone numbers and hours; procedures for billing,

 

 

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1    charges, deposits, refunds, and credits; procedures for
2    termination of service; notice of deletion of programming
3    service; changes related to transmission of programming;
4    changes or increases in rates; the use and availability of
5    parental control or lock-out devices; the use and
6    availability of an A/B switch if applicable; complaint
7    procedures and procedures for bill dispute resolution; a
8    description of the rights and remedies available to
9    consumers if the cable or video provider does not
10    materially meet its customer service standards; and
11    special services for customers with visual, hearing, or
12    mobility disabilities.
13        (2) Cable or video providers' rates for each level of
14    service, rules, regulations, and policies related to its
15    cable service or video service described in paragraph (1)
16    of this subsection (a) must be made available to the
17    public and displayed clearly and conspicuously on the
18    cable or video provider's site on the Internet. If a
19    promotional price or a price for a specified period of
20    time is offered, the cable or video provider shall display
21    the price at the end of the promotional period or
22    specified period of time clearly and conspicuously with
23    the display of the promotional price or price for a
24    specified period of time. The cable or video provider
25    shall provide this information upon request.
26        (3) Cable or video providers shall provide notice

 

 

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1    concerning their general customer service standards to all
2    customers. This notice shall be offered when service is
3    first activated and upon request thereafter. The
4    information in the notice shall also be available on the
5    cable or video providers' websites and shall include all
6    of the information specified in paragraph (1) of this
7    subsection (a), as well as the following: a listing of
8    services offered by the cable or video providers, which
9    shall clearly describe programming for all services and
10    all levels of service; the rates for all services and
11    levels of service; a telephone number through which
12    customers may subscribe to, change, or terminate service,
13    request customer service, or seek general or billing
14    information; instructions on the use of the cable or video
15    services; and a description of rights and remedies that
16    the cable or video providers shall make available to their
17    customers if they do not materially meet the general
18    customer service standards described in this Act.
19    (b) General customer service obligations:
20        (1) Cable or video providers shall render reasonably
21    efficient service, promptly make repairs, and interrupt
22    service only as necessary and for good cause, during
23    periods of minimum use of the system and for no more than
24    24 hours.
25        (2) All service representatives or any other person
26    who contacts customers or potential customers on behalf of

 

 

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1    the cable or video provider shall have a visible
2    identification card with their name and photograph and
3    shall orally identify themselves upon first contact with
4    the customer. Customer service representatives shall
5    orally identify themselves to callers immediately
6    following the greeting during each telephone contact with
7    the public.
8        (3) The cable or video providers shall: (i) maintain a
9    customer service facility within the boundaries of a local
10    unit of government staffed by customer service
11    representatives that have the capacity to accept payment,
12    adjust bills, and respond to repair, installation,
13    reconnection, disconnection, or other service calls and
14    distribute or receive converter boxes, remote control
15    units, digital stereo units, or other equipment related to
16    the provision of cable or video service; (ii) provide
17    customers with bill payment facilities through retail,
18    financial, or other commercial institutions located within
19    the boundaries of a local unit of government; (iii)
20    provide an address, toll-free telephone number or
21    electronic address to accept bill payments and
22    correspondence and provide secure collection boxes for the
23    receipt of bill payments and the return of equipment,
24    provided that if a cable or video provider provides secure
25    collection boxes, it shall provide a printed receipt when
26    items are deposited; or (iv) provide an address, toll-free

 

 

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1    telephone number, or electronic address to accept bill
2    payments and correspondence and provide a method for
3    customers to return equipment to the cable or video
4    provider at no cost to the customer.
5        (4) In each contact with a customer, the service
6    representatives or any other person who contacts customers
7    or potential customers on behalf of the cable or video
8    provider shall state the estimated cost of the service,
9    repair, or installation orally prior to delivery of the
10    service or before any work is performed, shall provide the
11    customer with an oral statement of the total charges
12    before terminating the telephone call or other contact in
13    which a service is ordered, whether in-person or over the
14    Internet, and shall provide a written statement of the
15    total charges before leaving the location at which the
16    work was performed. In the event that the cost of service
17    is a promotional price or is for a limited period of time,
18    the cost of service at the end of the promotion or limited
19    period of time shall be disclosed.
20        (5) Cable or video providers shall provide customers a
21    minimum of 30 days' written notice before increasing rates
22    or eliminating transmission of programming and shall
23    submit the notice of any rate increase to the local unit of
24    government in advance of distribution to customers,
25    provided that the cable or video provider is not in
26    violation of this provision if the elimination of

 

 

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1    transmission of programming was outside the control of the
2    provider, in which case the provider shall use reasonable
3    efforts to provide as much notice as possible, and any
4    rate decrease related to the elimination of transmission
5    of programming shall be applied to the date of the change.
6        (6) Cable or video providers shall provide clear
7    visual and audio reception that meets or exceeds
8    applicable Federal Communications Commission technical
9    standards. If a customer experiences poor video or audio
10    reception due to the equipment of the cable or video
11    provider, the cable or video provider shall promptly
12    repair the problem at its own expense.
13    (c) Bills, payment, and termination:
14        (1) Cable or video providers shall render monthly
15    bills that are clear, accurate, and understandable.
16        (2) Every residential customer who pays bills directly
17    to the cable or video provider shall have at least 28 days
18    from the date of the bill to pay the listed charges.
19        (3) Customer payments shall be posted promptly. When
20    the payment is sent by United States mail, payment is
21    considered paid on the date it is postmarked.
22        (4) Cable or video providers may not terminate
23    residential service for nonpayment of a bill unless the
24    cable or video provider furnishes notice of the
25    delinquency and impending termination at least 15 days
26    prior to the proposed termination. Notice of proposed

 

 

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1    termination shall be provided in electronic format or
2    mailed, postage prepaid, to the customer to whom service
3    is billed. Notice of proposed termination shall not be
4    delivered or mailed until the 24th day after the date of
5    the bill for services. Notice of delinquency and impending
6    termination may be part of a billing statement only if the
7    notice is designed to be conspicuous. The cable or video
8    providers may not assess a late fee prior to the 24th day
9    after the date of the bill for service.
10        (5) Every notice of impending termination shall
11    include all of the following: the name and address of
12    customer; the amount of the delinquency; the date on which
13    payment is required to avoid termination; and the
14    telephone number of the cable or video provider's service
15    representative to make payment arrangements and to provide
16    additional information about the charges for failure to
17    return equipment and for reconnection, if any.
18        (6) Service may only be terminated on days when the
19    customer is able to reach a service representative of the
20    cable or video providers, either in person or by
21    telephone.
22        (7) Any service terminated by a cable or video
23    provider without good cause shall be restored without any
24    reconnection fee, charge, or penalty; good cause for
25    termination includes, but is not limited to, failure to
26    pay a bill by the date specified in the notice of impending

 

 

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1    termination, payment by check for which there are
2    insufficient funds, theft of service, abuse of equipment
3    or personnel, or other similar subscriber actions.
4        (8) Cable or video providers shall cease charging a
5    customer for any or all services within one business day
6    after it receives a request to immediately terminate
7    service or on the day requested by the customer if such a
8    date is at least 5 days from the date requested by the
9    customer. Nothing in this subsection (c) shall prohibit
10    the provider from billing for charges that the customer
11    incurs prior to the date of termination. Cable or video
12    providers shall issue a credit no later than the
13    customer's next billing cycle following the determination
14    that a credit is warranted. Cable or video providers shall
15    issue a refund or return a deposit promptly, but not later
16    than either the customer's next billing cycle following
17    resolution of the request or 30 days, whichever is
18    earlier, or the return of equipment, if any, whichever is
19    later.
20        (9) The customers or subscribers of a cable or video
21    provider shall be allowed to disconnect their service at
22    any time within the first 30 days after subscribing to or
23    upgrading the service. Within this 30-day period, cable or
24    video providers shall not charge or impose any fees or
25    penalties on the customer for disconnecting service,
26    including, but not limited to, any installation charge or

 

 

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1    the imposition of an early termination charge, except the
2    cable or video provider may impose a charge or fee to
3    offset any rebates or credits received by the customer and
4    may impose monthly service or maintenance charges,
5    including pay-per-view and premium services charges,
6    during such 30-day period.
7    (d) Response to customer inquiries:
8        (1) Cable or video providers will maintain a toll-free
9    telephone access line that is available to customers 24
10    hours a day, 7 days a week to accept calls regarding
11    installation, termination, service, and complaints.
12    Trained, knowledgeable, qualified service representatives
13    of the cable or video providers will be available to
14    respond to customer telephone inquiries during normal
15    business hours. Customer service representatives shall be
16    able to provide credit, waive fees, schedule appointments,
17    and change billing cycles. Any difficulties that cannot be
18    resolved by the customer service representatives shall be
19    referred to a supervisor who shall make his or her best
20    efforts to resolve the issue immediately. If the
21    supervisor does not resolve the issue to the customer's
22    satisfaction, the customer shall be informed of the cable
23    or video provider's complaint procedures and procedures
24    for billing dispute resolution and given a description of
25    the rights and remedies available to customers to enforce
26    the terms of this Article, including the customer's rights

 

 

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1    to have the complaint reviewed by the local unit of
2    government, to request mediation, and to review in a court
3    of competent jurisdiction.
4        (2) After normal business hours, the access line may
5    be answered by a service or an automated response system,
6    including an answering machine. Inquiries received by
7    telephone or e-mail after normal business hours shall be
8    responded to by a trained service representative on the
9    next business day. The cable or video provider shall
10    respond to a written billing inquiry within 10 days of
11    receipt of the inquiry.
12        (3) Cable or video providers shall provide customers
13    seeking non-standard installations with a total
14    installation cost estimate and an estimated date of
15    completion. The actual charge to the customer shall not
16    exceed the estimated cost without the written consent of
17    the customer.
18        (4) If the cable or video provider receives notice
19    that an unsafe condition exists with respect to its
20    equipment, it shall investigate such condition immediately
21    and shall take such measures as are necessary to remove or
22    eliminate the unsafe condition. The cable or video
23    provider shall inform the local unit of government
24    promptly, but no later than 2 hours after it receives
25    notification of an unsafe condition that it has not
26    remedied.

 

 

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1        (5) Under normal operating conditions, telephone
2    answer time by the cable or video provider's customer
3    representative, including wait time, shall not exceed 30
4    seconds when the connection is made. If the call needs to
5    be transferred, transfer time shall not exceed 30 seconds.
6    These standards shall be met no less than 90% of the time
7    under normal operating conditions, measured on a quarterly
8    basis. The cable or video provider shall not be required
9    to acquire equipment or perform surveys to measure
10    compliance with these telephone answering standards unless
11    an historical record of complaints indicates a clear
12    failure to comply.
13        (6) Under normal operating conditions, the cable or
14    video provider's customers will receive a busy signal less
15    than 3% of the time.
16    (e) Under normal operating conditions, each of the
17following standards related to installations, outages, and
18service calls will be met no less than 95% of the time measured
19on a quarterly basis:
20        (1) Standard installations will be performed within 7
21    business days after an order has been placed. "Standard"
22    installations are those that are located up to 125 feet
23    from the existing distribution system.
24        (2) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the
25    cable or video providers, the cable or video providers
26    will begin working on "service interruptions" promptly and

 

 

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1    in no event later than 24 hours after the interruption is
2    reported by the customer or otherwise becomes known to the
3    cable or video providers. Cable or video providers must
4    begin actions to correct other service problems the next
5    business day after notification of the service problem and
6    correct the problem.
7        (3) The "appointment window" alternatives for
8    installations, service calls, and other installation
9    activities will be either a specific time or, at a
10    maximum, a 4-hour time block during evening, weekend, and
11    normal business hours. The cable or video provider may
12    schedule service calls and other installation activities
13    outside of these hours for the express convenience of the
14    customer.
15        (4) Cable or video providers may not cancel an
16    appointment with a customer after the close of business on
17    the business day prior to the scheduled appointment. If
18    the cable or video provider's representative is running
19    late for an appointment with a customer and will not be
20    able to keep the appointment as scheduled, the customer
21    will be contacted. The appointment will be rescheduled, as
22    necessary, at a time that is convenient for the customer,
23    even if the rescheduled appointment is not within normal
24    business hours.
25    (f) Public benefit obligation:
26        (1) All cable or video providers offering service

 

 

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1    pursuant to the Cable and Video Competition Law of 2007,
2    the Illinois Municipal Code, or the Counties Code shall
3    provide a free service line drop and free basic service to
4    all current and future public buildings within their
5    footprint, including, but not limited to, all local unit
6    of government buildings, public libraries, and public
7    primary and secondary schools, whether owned or leased by
8    that local unit of government ("eligible buildings"). Such
9    service shall be used in a manner consistent with the
10    government purpose for the eligible building and shall not
11    be resold.
12        (2) This obligation only applies to those cable or
13    video service providers whose cable service or video
14    service systems pass eligible buildings and its cable or
15    video service is generally available to residential
16    subscribers in the same local unit of government in which
17    the eligible building is located. The burden of providing
18    such service at each eligible building shall be shared by
19    all cable and video providers whose systems pass the
20    eligible buildings in an equitable and competitively
21    neutral manner, and nothing herein shall require
22    duplicative installations by more than one cable or video
23    provider at each eligible building. Cable or video
24    providers operating in a local unit of government shall
25    meet as necessary and determine who will provide service
26    to eligible buildings under this subsection (f). If the

 

 

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1    cable or video providers are unable to reach an agreement,
2    they shall meet with the local unit of government, which
3    shall determine which cable or video providers will serve
4    each eligible building. The local unit of government shall
5    bear the costs of any inside wiring or video equipment
6    costs not ordinarily provided as part of the cable or
7    video provider's basic offering.
8    (g) After the cable or video providers have offered
9service for one year, the cable or video providers shall make
10an annual report to the Commission, to the local unit of
11government, and to the Attorney General that it is meeting the
12standards specified in this Article, identifying the number of
13complaints it received over the prior year in the State and
14specifying the number of complaints related to each of the
15following: (1) billing, charges, refunds, and credits; (2)
16installation or termination of service; (3) quality of service
17and repair; (4) programming; and (5) miscellaneous complaints
18that do not fall within these categories.
19    (h) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
20video providers shall offer the lowest-cost basic cable or
21video service as a stand-alone service to residential
22customers at reasonable rates. Cable or video providers shall
23not require the subscription to any service other than the
24lowest-cost basic service or to any telecommunications or
25information service, as a condition of access to cable or
26video service, including programming offered on a per channel

 

 

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1or per program basis. Cable or video providers shall not
2discriminate between subscribers to the lowest-cost basic
3service, subscribers to other cable services or video
4services, and other subscribers with regard to the rates
5charged for cable or video programming offered on a per
6channel or per program basis.
7    (i) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
8video providers shall ensure that charges for changes in the
9subscriber's selection of services or equipment shall be based
10on the cost of such change and shall not exceed nominal amounts
11when the system's configuration permits changes in service
12tier selection to be effected solely by coded entry on a
13computer terminal or by other similarly simple method.
14    (j) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
15video providers shall have a rate structure for the provision
16of cable or video service that is uniform throughout the area
17within the boundaries of the local unit of government. This
18subsection (j) is not intended to prohibit bulk discounts to
19multiple dwelling units or to prohibit reasonable discounts to
20senior citizens or other economically disadvantaged groups.
21    (k) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
22video providers shall not charge a subscriber for any service
23or equipment that the subscriber has not affirmatively
24requested or affirmatively agreed to by name. For purposes of
25this subsection (k), a subscriber's failure to refuse a cable
26or video provider's proposal to provide service or equipment

 

 

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1shall not be deemed to be an affirmative request for such
2service or equipment.
3    (l) No contract or service agreement containing an early
4termination clause offering residential cable or video
5services or any bundle including such services shall be for a
6term longer than 2 years. Any contract or service offering
7with a term of service that contains an early termination fee
8shall limit the early termination fee to not more than the
9value of any additional goods or services provided with the
10cable or video services, the amount of the discount reflected
11in the price for cable services or video services for the
12period during which the consumer benefited from the discount,
13or a declining fee based on the remainder of the contract term.
14    (m) Cable or video providers shall not discriminate in the
15provision of services for the hearing and visually impaired,
16and shall comply with the accessibility requirements of 47
17U.S.C. 613. Cable or video providers shall deliver and pick-up
18or provide customers with pre-paid shipping and packaging for
19the return of converters and other necessary equipment at the
20home of customers with disabilities. Cable or video providers
21shall provide free use of a converter or remote control unit to
22mobility impaired customers.
23    (n)(1) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
24video providers shall comply with the provisions of 47 U.S.C.
25532(h) and (j). The cable or video providers shall not
26exercise any editorial control over any video programming

 

 

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1provided pursuant to this Section, or in any other way
2consider the content of such programming, except that a cable
3or video provider may refuse to transmit any leased access
4program or portion of a leased access program that contains
5obscenity, indecency, or nudity and may consider such content
6to the minimum extent necessary to establish a reasonable
7price for the commercial use of designated channel capacity by
8an unaffiliated person. This subsection (n) shall permit cable
9or video providers to enforce prospectively a written and
10published policy of prohibiting programming that the cable or
11video provider reasonably believes describes or depicts sexual
12or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive
13manner as measured by contemporary community standards.
14        (2) Upon customer request, the cable or video provider
15    shall, without charge, fully scramble or otherwise fully
16    block the audio and video programming of each channel
17    carrying such programming so that a person who is not a
18    subscriber does not receive the channel or programming.
19        (3) In providing sexually explicit adult programming
20    or other programming that is indecent on any channel of
21    its service primarily dedicated to sexually oriented
22    programming, the cable or video provider shall fully
23    scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio
24    portion of such channel so that a person who is not a
25    subscriber to such channel or programming does not receive
26    it.

 

 

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1        (4) Scramble means to rearrange the content of the
2    signal of the programming so that the programming cannot
3    be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.
4    (o) Cable or video providers will maintain a listing,
5specific to the level of street address, of the areas where its
6cable or video services are available. Customers who inquire
7about purchasing cable or video service shall be informed
8about whether the cable or video provider's cable or video
9services are currently available to them at their specific
10location.
11    (p) Cable or video providers shall not disclose the name,
12address, telephone number or other personally identifying
13information of a cable service or video service customer to be
14used in mailing lists or to be used for other commercial
15purposes not reasonably related to the conduct of its business
16unless the cable or video provider has provided to the
17customer a notice, separately or included in any other
18customer service notice, that clearly and conspicuously
19describes the customer's ability to prohibit the disclosure.
20Cable or video providers shall provide an address and
21telephone number for a customer to use without a toll charge to
22prevent disclosure of the customer's name and address in
23mailing lists or for other commercial purposes not reasonably
24related to the conduct of its business to other businesses or
25affiliates of the cable or video provider. Cable or video
26providers shall comply with the consumer privacy requirements

 

 

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1of Section 26-4.5 of the Criminal Code of 2012, the Restricted
2Call Registry Act, and 47 U.S.C. 551 that are in effect as of
3June 30, 2007 (the effective date of Public Act 95-9) and as
4amended thereafter.
5    (q) Cable or video providers shall implement an informal
6process for handling inquiries from local units of government
7and customers concerning billing issues, service issues,
8privacy concerns, and other consumer complaints. In the event
9that an issue is not resolved through this informal process, a
10local unit of government or the customer may request
11nonbinding mediation with the cable or video provider, with
12each party to bear its own costs of such mediation. Selection
13of the mediator will be by mutual agreement, and preference
14will be given to mediation services that do not charge the
15consumer for their services. In the event that the informal
16process does not produce a satisfactory result to the customer
17or the local unit of government, enforcement may be pursued as
18provided in subdivision (4) of subsection (r) of this Section.
19    (r) The Attorney General and the local unit of government
20may enforce all of the customer service and privacy protection
21standards of this Section with respect to complaints received
22from residents within the local unit of government's
23jurisdiction, but it may not adopt or seek to enforce any
24additional or different customer service or performance
25standards under any other authority or provision of law.
26        (1) The local unit of government may, by ordinance,

 

 

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1    provide a schedule of penalties for any material breach of
2    this Section by cable or video providers in addition to
3    the penalties provided herein. No monetary penalties shall
4    be assessed for a material breach if it is out of the
5    reasonable control of the cable or video providers or its
6    affiliate. Monetary penalties adopted in an ordinance
7    pursuant to this Section shall apply on a competitively
8    neutral basis to all providers of cable service or video
9    service within the local unit of government's
10    jurisdiction. In no event shall the penalties imposed
11    under this subsection (r) exceed $750 for each day of the
12    material breach, and these penalties shall not exceed
13    $25,000 for each occurrence of a material breach per
14    customer.
15        (2) For purposes of this Section, "material breach"
16    means any substantial failure of a cable or video service
17    provider to comply with service quality and other
18    standards specified in any provision of this Act. The
19    Attorney General or the local unit of government shall
20    give the cable or video provider written notice of any
21    alleged material breaches of this Act and allow such
22    provider at least 30 days from receipt of the notice to
23    remedy the specified material breach.
24        (3) A material breach, for the purposes of assessing
25    penalties, shall be deemed to have occurred for each day
26    that a material breach has not been remedied by the cable

 

 

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1    service or video service provider after the expiration of
2    the period specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection
3    (r) in each local unit of government's jurisdiction,
4    irrespective of the number of customers affected.
5        (4) Any customer, the Attorney General, or a local
6    unit of government may pursue alleged violations of this
7    Act by the cable or video provider in a court of competent
8    jurisdiction. A cable or video provider may seek judicial
9    review of a decision of a local unit of government
10    imposing penalties in a court of competent jurisdiction.
11    No local unit of government shall be subject to suit for
12    damages or other relief based upon its action in
13    connection with its enforcement or review of any of the
14    terms, conditions, and rights contained in this Act except
15    a court may require the return of any penalty it finds was
16    not properly assessed or imposed.
17    (s) Cable or video providers shall credit customers for
18violations in the amounts stated herein. The credits shall be
19applied on the statement issued to the customer for the next
20monthly billing cycle following the violation or following the
21discovery of the violation. Cable or video providers are
22responsible for providing the credits described herein and the
23customer is under no obligation to request the credit. If the
24customer is no longer taking service from the cable or video
25provider, the credit amount will be refunded to the customer
26by check within 30 days of the termination of service. A local

 

 

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1unit of government may, by ordinance, adopt a schedule of
2credits payable directly to customers for breach of the
3customer service standards and obligations contained in this
4Article, provided the schedule of customer credits applies on
5a competitively neutral basis to all providers of cable
6service or video service in the local unit of government's
7jurisdiction and the credits are not greater than the credits
8provided in this Section.
9        (1) Failure to keep an appointment or to notify the
10    customer prior to the close of business on the business
11    day prior to the scheduled appointment: $25.00.
12        (2) Violation of customer service and billing
13    standards in subsections (c) and (d) of this Section:
14    $25.00 per occurrence.
15        (3) Violation of the bundling rules in subsection (h)
16    of this Section: $25.00 per month.
17    (t) The enforcement powers granted to the Attorney General
18in Article XXI of this Act shall apply to this Article, except
19that the Attorney General may not seek penalties for violation
20of this Article other than in the amounts specified herein.
21Nothing in this Section shall limit or affect the powers of the
22Attorney General to enforce the provisions of Article XXI of
23this Act or the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
24Practices Act.
25    (u) This Article applies to all cable and video providers
26in the State, including but not limited to those operating

 

 

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1under a local franchise as that term is used in 47 U.S.C.
2522(9), those operating under authorization pursuant to
3Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code, those
4operating under authorization pursuant to Section 5-1095 of
5the Counties Code, and those operating under a State-issued
6authorization pursuant to Article XXI of this Act.
7(Source: P.A. 97-1108, eff. 1-1-13; 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13;
898-45, eff. 6-28-13.)
 
9    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
10becoming law.