Paradise Valley looks to adopt state-mandated video license agreement

Paradise Valley Town Council will vote on a uniform video service license agreement on Thursday, June 13, at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

The Paradise Valley Town Council will be voting on a uniform video service license agreement at its Thursday, June 13 meeting.

Town Attorney Andrew Miller presented the new agreement to Town Council during a study session in late May.

In 2018, the legislature enacted Senate Bill 1140, the uniform video service license agreement, which requires cities and towns to adopt a standard uniform video service license agreement, application and affidavit by July 1.

“This is coming out of a specific legislative enactment from not this session, but the session prior — it just had a sort of delayed effective date,” Mr. Miller said in his presentation to Council on May 23. “We used to call these cable license agreements, but now they’re called uniform license agreements.”

Mr. Miller said the bill started off with a requirement that municipalities would lose authority to issue cable license agreements, and instead it would be done by the secretary of state on their behalf.

Town Attorney Andrew Miller is pictured in center. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

“Pretty much, most of the flexibility cities may have had in the past with cable licensing agreements are pretty much foreclosed now, and it will be this uniform license agreement and application,” he said.

By state statute, cities and towns are required to issue the service license to video service providers that make application.

According to Mr. Miller, the town only has one cable services agreement: Cox Communications.

The uniform video services license agreement contains 16 separate provisions including:

  • The date on which the provider expects to provide video services in the area;
  • A description of the service area to be served;
  • A requirement that the provider will pay the license fees and all other lawful charges imposed by cities and towns; and
  • Requirement that the provider comply with federal, state and local laws, consumer privacy mandates and public, education and government programming requirements.

After the filing of an application and affidavit, a municipality must issue the uniform license to the applicant.

The draft agreement, applicant and affidavit presented to Town Council on May 23 is modeled after a draft from the Telecommunications Workgroup and Arizona League of Cities and Towns.

“One of the questions we kept dealing with was what do we do with our existing cable licenses? There’s a whole article in the Town Code — Article 16 — that deals with all of the definitions and requirements for cable TV licenses, with the new statute all of that becomes unnecessary,” Mr. Miller said.

“How do you mesh the two? Well, once we got to the point of developing the model agreement that it’s really based off the state statute, no city is going to need its local cable code in the future.”

Mr. Miller says after the incumbent provider goes to the new license, the town would look to amend and delete Article 16 out of the Town Code out of redundancy.

The Town Council is expected to render a vote on the new video services license agreement, application and affidavit during its regular Town Council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at mrosequist@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Mrosequist_

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