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220 ILCS 5/21-401

    (220 ILCS 5/21-401)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2026)
    Sec. 21-401. Applications.
    (a)(1) A person or entity seeking to provide cable service or video service pursuant to this Article shall not use the public rights-of-way for the installation or construction of facilities for the provision of cable service or video service or offer cable service or video service until it has obtained a State-issued authorization to offer or provide cable or video service under this Section, except as provided for in item (2) of this subsection (a). All cable or video providers offering or providing service in this State shall have authorization pursuant to either (i) the Cable and Video Competition Law of 2007 (220 ILCS 5/21-100 et seq.); (ii) Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-42-11); or (iii) Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/5-1095).
    (2) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a local unit of government from granting a permit to a person or entity for the use of the public rights-of-way to install or construct facilities to provide cable service or video service, at its sole discretion. No unit of local government shall be liable for denial or delay of a permit prior to the issuance of a State-issued authorization.
    (b) The application to the Commission for State-issued authorization shall contain a completed affidavit submitted by the applicant and signed by an officer or general partner of the applicant affirming all of the following:
        (1) That the applicant has filed or will timely file
with the Federal Communications Commission all forms required by that agency in advance of offering cable service or video service in this State.
        (2) That the applicant agrees to comply with all
applicable federal and State statutes and regulations.
        (3) That the applicant agrees to comply with all
applicable local unit of government regulations.
        (4) An exact description of the cable service or
video service area where the cable service or video service will be offered during the term of the State-issued authorization. The service area shall be identified in terms of either (i) exchanges, as that term is defined in Section 13-206 of this Act; (ii) a collection of United States Census Bureau Block numbers (13 digit); (iii) if the area is smaller than the areas identified in either (i) or (ii), by geographic information system digital boundaries meeting or exceeding national map accuracy standards; or (iv) local unit of government. The description shall include the number of low-income households within the service area or footprint. If an applicant is an incumbent cable operator, the incumbent cable operator and any successor-in-interest shall be obligated to provide access to cable services or video services within any local units 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), and its application shall provide a description of an area no smaller than the service areas contained in its franchise or franchises within the jurisdiction of the local unit of government in which it seeks to offer cable or video service.
        (5) The location and telephone number of the
applicant's principal place of business within this State and the names of the applicant's principal executive officers who are responsible for communications concerning the application and the services to be offered pursuant to the application, the applicant's legal name, and any name or names under which the applicant does or will provide cable services or video services in this State.
        (6) A certification that the applicant has
concurrently delivered a copy of the application to all local units of government that include all or any part of the service area identified in item (4) of this subsection (b) within such local unit of government's jurisdictional boundaries.
        (7) The expected date that cable service or video
service will be initially offered in the area identified in item (4) of this subsection (b). In the event that a holder does not offer cable services or video services within 3 months after the expected date, it shall amend its application and update the expected date service will be offered and explain the delay in offering cable services or video services.
        (8) For any entity that received State-issued
authorization prior to this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly as a cable operator and that intends to proceed as a cable operator under this Article, the entity shall file a written affidavit with the Commission and shall serve a copy of the affidavit with any local units of government affected by the authorization within 30 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly stating that the holder will be providing cable service under the State-issued authorization.
    The application shall include adequate assurance that the applicant possesses the financial, managerial, legal, and technical qualifications necessary to construct and operate the proposed system, to promptly repair any damage to the public right-of-way caused by the applicant, and to pay the cost of removal of its facilities. To accomplish these requirements, the applicant may, at the time the applicant seeks to use the public rights-of-way in that jurisdiction, be required by the State of Illinois or later be required by the local unit of government, or both, to post a bond, produce a certificate of insurance, or otherwise demonstrate its financial responsibility.
    The application shall include the applicant's general standards related to customer service required by Section 22-501 of this Act, which shall include, but not be limited to, installation, disconnection, service and repair obligations; appointment hours; employee ID requirements; customer service telephone numbers and hours; procedures for billing, charges, deposits, refunds, and credits; procedures for termination of service; notice of deletion of programming service and changes related to transmission of programming or changes or increases in rates; use and availability of parental control or lock-out devices; complaint procedures and procedures for bill dispute resolution and a description of the rights and remedies available to consumers if the holder does not materially meet their customer service standards; and special services for customers with visual, hearing, or mobility disabilities.
    (c)(1) The applicant may designate information that it submits in its application or subsequent reports as confidential or proprietary, provided that the applicant states the reasons the confidential designation is necessary. The Commission shall provide adequate protection for such information pursuant to Section 4-404 of this Act. If the Commission, a local unit of government, or any other party seeks public disclosure of information designated as confidential, the Commission shall consider the confidential designation in a proceeding under the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, and the burden of proof to demonstrate that the designated information is confidential shall be upon the applicant. Designated information shall remain confidential pending the Commission's determination of whether the information is entitled to confidential treatment. Information designated as confidential shall be provided to local units of government for purposes of assessing compliance with this Article as permitted under a Protective Order issued by the Commission pursuant to the Commission's rules and to the Attorney General pursuant to Section 6.5 of the Attorney General Act (15 ILCS 205/6.5). Information designated as confidential under this Section or determined to be confidential upon Commission review shall only be disclosed pursuant to a valid and enforceable subpoena or court order or as required by the Freedom of Information Act. Nothing herein shall delay the application approval timeframes set forth in this Article.
    (2) Information regarding the location of video services that have been or are being offered to the public and aggregate information included in the reports required by this Article shall not be designated or treated as confidential.
    (d)(1) The Commission shall post all applications it receives under this Article on its web site within 5 business days.
    (2) The Commission shall notify an applicant for a cable service or video service authorization whether the applicant's application and affidavit are complete on or before the 15th business day after the applicant submits the application. If the application and affidavit are not complete, the Commission shall state in its notice all of the reasons the application or affidavit are incomplete, and the applicant shall resubmit a complete application. The Commission shall have 30 days after submission by the applicant of a complete application and affidavit to issue the service authorization. If the Commission does not notify the applicant regarding the completeness of the application and affidavit or issue the service authorization within the time periods required under this subsection, the application and affidavit shall be considered complete and the service authorization issued upon the expiration of the 30th day.
    (e) Any authorization issued by the Commission will expire on December 31, 2029 and shall contain or include all of the following:
        (1) A grant of authority, including an
authorization issued prior to this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, to provide cable service or video service in the service area footprint as requested in the application, subject to the provisions of this Article in existence on the date the grant of authority was issued, and any modifications to this Article enacted at any time prior to the date in Section 21-1601 of this Act, and to the laws of the State and the ordinances, rules, and regulations of the local units of government.
        (2) A grant of authority to use, occupy, and
construct facilities in the public rights-of-way for the delivery of cable service or video service in the service area footprint, subject to the laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations of this State and local units of governments.
        (3) A statement that the grant of authority is
subject to lawful operation of the cable service or video service by the applicant, its affiliated entities, or its successors-in-interest.
    (e-5) The Commission shall notify a local unit of government within 3 business days of the grant of any authorization within a service area footprint if that authorization includes any part of the local unit of government's jurisdictional boundaries and state whether the holder will be providing video service or cable service under the authorization.
    (f) The authorization issued pursuant to this Section by the Commission may be transferred to any successor-in-interest to the applicant to which it is initially granted without further Commission action if the successor-in-interest (i) submits an application and the information required by subsection (b) of this Section for the successor-in-interest and (ii) is not in violation of this Article or of any federal, State, or local law, ordinance, rule, or regulation. A successor-in-interest shall file its application and notice of transfer with the Commission and the relevant local units of government no less than 15 business days prior to the completion of the transfer. The Commission is not required or authorized to act upon the notice of transfer; however, the transfer is not effective until the Commission approves the successor-in-interest's application. A local unit of government or the Attorney General may seek to bar a transfer of ownership by filing suit in a court of competent jurisdiction predicated on the existence of a material and continuing breach of this Article by the holder, a pattern of noncompliance with customer service standards by the potential successor-in-interest, or the insolvency of the potential successor-in-interest. If a transfer is made when there are violations of this Article or of any federal, State, or local law, ordinance, rule, or regulation, the successor-in-interest shall be subject to 3 times the penalties provided for in this Article.
    (g) The authorization issued pursuant to this Section by the Commission may be terminated, or its cable service or video service area footprint may be modified, by the cable service provider or video service provider by submitting notice to the Commission and to the relevant local unit of government containing a description of the change on the same terms as the initial description pursuant to item (4) of subsection (b) of this Section. The Commission is not required or authorized to act upon that notice. It shall be a violation of this Article for a holder to discriminate against potential residential subscribers because of the race or income of the residents in the local area in which the group resides by terminating or modifying its cable service or video service area footprint. It shall be a violation of this Article for a holder to terminate or modify its cable service or video service area footprint if it leaves an area with no cable service or video service from any provider.
    (h) The Commission's authority to administer this Article is limited to the powers and duties explicitly provided under this Article. Its authority under this Article does not include or limit the powers and duties that the Commission has under the other Articles of this Act, the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, or any other law or regulation to conduct proceedings, other than as provided in subsection (c), or has to promulgate rules or regulations. The Commission shall not have the authority to limit or expand the obligations and requirements provided in this Section or to regulate or control a person or entity to the extent that person or entity is providing cable service or video service, except as provided in this Article.
(Source: P.A. 101-639, eff. 6-12-20; 102-9, eff. 6-3-21.)