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(220 ILCS 5/21-301)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2026)
(a) A person or entity seeking to provide cable service or video service in this State after June 30, 2007 (the effective date of Public Act 95-9)
shall either (1) obtain a State-issued authorization pursuant to Section 21-401
of the Public Utilities
Act (220 ILCS 5/21-401); (2) obtain authorization pursuant to Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-42-11); or (3) obtain authorization pursuant to Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/5-1095).
(b) An incumbent cable operator shall be eligible to apply for a State-issued authorization as provided in subsection (c) of this Section. Upon expiration of its current franchise agreement, an incumbent cable operator may obtain State authorization from the Commission pursuant to this Article or may pursue a franchise renewal with the appropriate local franchise authority under State and federal law. An incumbent cable operator and any successor-in-interest that receives a State-issued authorization shall be obligated to provide access to cable services or video services within any local unit of government at the same levels required by the local franchising authorities for the local unit of government on June 30, 2007 (the effective date of Public Act 95-9).
(c)(1) An incumbent cable operator may elect to terminate its agreement with the local franchising authority and obtain a State-issued authorization by providing written notice to the Commission and the affected local franchising authority and any entity authorized by that franchising authority to manage public, education, and government access at least 180 days prior to its filing an application for a State-issued authorization. The existing agreement shall be terminated on the date that the Commission issues the State-issued authorization.
(2) An incumbent cable operator that elects to terminate an existing agreement with a local franchising authority under this Section is responsible for remitting to the affected local franchising authority and any entity designated by that local franchising authority to manage public, education, and government access before the 46th day after the date the agreement is terminated any accrued but unpaid fees due under the terminated agreement. If that incumbent cable operator has credit remaining from prepaid franchise fees, such amount of the remaining credit may be deducted from any future fees the incumbent cable operator must pay to the local franchising authority pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 21-801 of this Act.
(3) An incumbent cable operator that elects to terminate an existing agreement with a local franchising authority under this Section shall pay the affected local franchising authority and any entity designated by that franchising authority to manage public, education, and government access, at the time that they would have been due, all monetary payments for public, education, or government access that would have been due during the remaining term of the agreement had it not been terminated as provided in this paragraph. All payments made by an incumbent cable operator pursuant to the previous sentence of this paragraph may be credited against the fees that that operator owes under item (1) of subsection (d) of Section 21-801
of this Act.
(d) For purposes of this Article, the Commission shall be the franchising authority for cable service or video service providers that apply for and obtain a State-issued authorization under this Article with regard to the footprint covered by such authorization. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, holders using telecommunications facilities to provide cable service or video service are not obligated to provide that service outside the holder's telecommunications service area.
(e) Any person or entity that applies for and obtains a State-issued authorization under this Article shall not be subject to Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-42-11) or Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/5-1095), except as provided in this Article. Except as provided under this Article, neither the Commission nor any local unit of government may require a person or entity that has applied for and obtained a State-issued authorization to obtain a separate franchise or pay any franchise fee on cable service or video service.
(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17