Public Utilities and Carriers

Community Antenna Television Systems

SECTION 39-19-10.1

§ 39-19-10.1. Installation of cable television in mobile or manufactured home parks.

A tenant in a mobile or manufactured home park may subscribe to CATV service, subject to the following provisions:

(1) A CATV operator who affixes or causes to be affixed CATV facilities to the dwelling of a tenant shall (i) do so at no cost to the landlord of such mobile or manufactured home park, (ii) indemnify the landlord for damages, if any, arising from the installation and/or the continued operation thereof, and (iii) not interfere with the safety, functioning, appearance, or use of the mobile or manufactured home park, nor interfere with the reasonable rules and regulations of the owner dealing with the day-to-day operations of the property, including the owner's reasonable access rules for soliciting business. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit a landlord from contracting with the CATV operator for work in addition to standard installation.

(2) No CATV operator shall enter into any agreement with persons owning, leasing, controlling, or managing a mobile or manufactured home park served by a CATV system or perform any act which would directly or indirectly diminish or interfere with the rights of any tenant to use a master or individual antenna system.

(3)(i) A CATV operator shall have the landlord's consent to affix CATV system facilities which are necessary to either offer or provide service to a privately owned utility pole within the mobile or manufactured home park by delivery to the owner, in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a copy of this section and a signed statement that the CATV operator will be bound by the terms of this section to the owner or lawful agent of the property upon which the CATV system facilities are to be affixed. A CATV operator or other telephone, telecommunications or information service provider shall be permitted to affix CATV systems facilities pursuant to this subdivision prior to receiving a request for service from a tenant.

(ii) The CATV operator shall present and review with the owner prior to any installation, plans and specifications for the installation, and shall abide by reasonable installation requests by the owner. The CATV operator will inspect the premises with the owner after installation to insure conformance with the plans and specifications. The owner may waive in writing the prior presentation of the plans and specifications. The CATV operator shall be responsible for the maintenance of any equipment installed on the owner's premises and shall be entitled to reasonable access for maintenance. The CATV operator shall also, prior to any installation, provide, upon the request of the owner, a certificate of insurance covering all the employees or agents of the installer or CATV operator as well as all equipment of the operator.

(4) If the owner of any privately owned utility pole intends to require the payment of any sum in excess of a nominal amount, herein defined as the amount paid by the CATV operator to utility companies for installation of similar facilities on their poles, in exchange for permitting the installation of CATV system facilities to the privately owned utility pole, the owner shall notify the CATV operator by certified mail, return receipt requested, within twenty (20) days of the date on which the owner is notified that the CATV operator intends to install CATV system facilities on the privately owned utility pole within the mobile or manufactured home park. Absent such notice, it will be conclusively presumed that the owner will not require payment in excess of the the nominal amount specified in this subdivision for the connection.

(5) If the owner gives notice, the owner will, within thirty (30) days after giving notice, advise the CATV operator in writing of the amount the owner claims as compensation for affixing CATV system facilities to his or her privately owned utility pole. If within thirty (30) days after receipt of the owner's claim for compensation, the CATV operator has not agreed to accept the owner's demand, the owner may bring an action in the superior court for the county in which the real estate is located to enforce the owner's claim for compensation. The action shall be brought within six (6) months of the date on which the owner first made a demand upon the CATV operator for compensation and not thereafter.

(6) It shall be presumed that reasonable compensation therefor shall be the nominal amount, but the presumption may be rebutted and overcome by evidence that the owner has a specific alternative use for the space occupied by CATV system facilities or equipment, the loss of which shall result in a monetary loss to the owner, or that installation of CATV system facilities or equipment upon the privately owned utility pole will otherwise substantially interfere with the use and occupancy of the pole to an extent which causes a decrease in the resale or rental value of the real estate. In determining the damages to any real estate injured when no part of it is being taken, consideration is to be given only to such injury as is special and peculiar to the real estate, and there shall be deducted therefrom the amount of any benefit to the real estate by reason of the installation of CATV system facilities.

(7) None of the foregoing steps to claim or enforce a demand for compensation in excess of the nominal amount shall impair or delay the right of the CATV operator to install, maintain, or remove CATV system facilities to a tenant's dwelling on the real estate. The superior court shall have original jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this subdivision.

(i) In the event that the superior court determines that any individual or entity has unreasonably interfered with the rights granted to tenants, CATV operators or other service providers as set forth in this subdivision, the superior court may award the party seeking enforcement its reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(ii) Nothing contained herein shall impair the right of a tenant or a CATV operator or other telephone, telecommunications or information service provider to pursue any other remedies which may be available at law or in equity.

(8) It shall be an unfair trade practice under chapter 13.1 of title 6 for any person owning, leasing, or managing any mobile or manufactured home park served by a CATV system to discriminate in rental charges or other charges to tenants based on the tenants' subscription to a CATV service from and after July 1, 1987 or to demand or accept payment, except as provided in this section, for the affixing of CATV facilities to a privately owned utility pole within the mobile or manufactured home park provided, however, that this subdivision shall not apply to contracts entered into on or before July 1, 1987.

(9) For the purposes of this section the phrase "privately owned utility pole" refers to a utility pole which is owned by a person or entity other than a public utility or municipal corporation providing electric or telecommunications services.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 239, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 116, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 266, § 1.)