OH: Ohio Grants State Franchise to Time Warner

Posted on December 17, 2007 - 9:20am.

from: Ohio Department of Commerce


Contact: Barney Wolf at (614) 644-7115



Cable provider receives 10-year approval

Ohio Commerce Director Kimberly Zurz today granted statewide video-service authorization to Time Warner Cable LLC.

The company became the second enterprise to receive the 10-year, state-issued authorization, which was established by Ohio’s video-service law that went into effect September 24, 2007. AT&T Ohio was granted state video-service approval on November 7, 2007.

Time Warner Cable’s authorization covers 260 communities in 60 counties.

On June 25, 2007, Governor Ted Strickland signed Senate Bill 117, which created the one-stop, statewide video-service authorization process. Previously, cable or wire video-service companies had to negotiate local franchises with each municipality or township.

The law requires the Director of Commerce to administer the video-service authorization program. The Director also has the authority to investigate any allegation that a state-approved, video-service provider violated or failed to comply with the law.

The Director does not have any authority, however, to regulate the rates, terms or conditions of a provider’s service – including the networks or television stations that the video-service company decides to carry – or to regulate satellite video service.

Statewide video-service authorization is expected to accelerate the expansion of state-of-the-art infrastructure to deliver video and broadband services to Ohioans, some of whom have not had access to high-speed data services. The process is also expected to bring new competition to existing video providers.

The law includes a number of consumer protections. Providers with state-issued authorization are required to give customers:

Credit for a day’s rate if service is lost for more than four hours in any day.

* 30 days notice before removing a channel.
* 30 days notice prior to a rate increase.
* 10 days notice before disconnecting service.

Providers with state-issued authorization also must restore service in most cases within 72 hours after a subscriber reports a service interruption or other problem, and the companies cannot disconnect a customer’s video service for nonpayment before a bill is at least 45 days past due.

The law prohibits a provider from denying access to video service to any group of potential residential subscribers in the company’s service area.

In addition to AT&T Ohio and Time Warner Cable, eight other companies have applied for authorization. They are: Armstrong Utilities Inc., Ayersville Telephone Co., Block Communications Inc., Cincinnati Bell Extended Territories LLC, Comcast of Illinois/Ohio/Oregon LLC, Glandorf Telephone Co., Middle Point Home Telephone Co., and Wabash Mutual Telephone Co.

Providers or subscribers with questions or issues dealing with state-approved, video-service authorization can call the Department of Commerce toll-free number, 877-207-2225; send an email to vsa@com.state.oh.us; or visit the Department’s Video Service Regulation Web page, www.com.ohio.gov/admn/vsa/.

( categories: OHIO | State Franchises | Time Warner )