Charles Warner Editor
October 18, 2013
UNION — The City of Union is giving the State of South Carolina permission to allow BellSouth to provide cable or video service in the city.
In a Sept. 19 letter to City Clerk Gloria Rogers, Shunvyan F. Jenkins, Cable Franchising Coordinator for the Secretary of State’s office, announced that BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC d/b/a AT&T South Carolina had filed an application to amend “a State-Issued Certificate of Franchise Authority.”
Jenkins states that within five days of receipt of an application or amended application, the Secretary of State is required by state law to notify the municipality or county affected of the office’s receipt of the application. The affected county or municipality must then respond to the notification and request for information from the Secretary of State within 65 days.
Union City Council did just that Tuesday, voting unanimously to approve first reading of an ordinance “granting consent to application for franchise for cable video service and setting franchise fee.”
The ordinance states that under the state constitution, no law may be passed by the S.C. General Assembly granting a utility the right to build and operate lines and facilities on a public street and/or public property “without first gaining the consent of the governing body in control of the streets or public places proposed to be occupied for any such or like purpose.”
It further states that under the “South Carolina Competitive Cable Services Act” there is a state-issued Certificate of Franchise Authority “under which a cable or video service provider may designate by application to the Secretary of State those municipalities in which the provider wishes to operate.”
The municipality the provider wishes to operate must in turn inform the Secretary of State whether it consents to the COFA or not.
While a second reading is required for it to become law, the ordinance states that council consents to the requested COFA to operate cable or video service within the City of Union.
The ordinance also states council’s intention to set the maximum franchise fee (five percent) allowed by law on the service once it is offered within the city.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org