Vermont Public Service Board

8.200 Certificates of Public Good

8.200 Certificates of Public Good.

8.210 Petitions (other than for renewal).

8.211 Form and content.

The petition shall be on a form specified by the Board (attached hereto as Appendix A) and shall contain at a minimum the information required by the instructions to the petition form (attached hereto as Appendix B).

8.212 Service of petitions.

When a petition is filed with the Board and the Department of Public Service for a certificate of public good pursuant to 30 V.S.A. 503, or to alter, extend, or abandon a cable system service area, a copy of the petition and its supporting documents shall be served upon the clerk of each municipality encompassed in the proposed service area. In addition, a copy of the petition without its supporting documentation shall be served upon:

(A) The superintendent of any school system encompassed in the proposed or affected service area.

(B) The clerk of each municipality adjacent to the proposed or affected service area.

Note that a complete application must be filed both at the Board and at the Department.

8.213 Hearings.

The Board shall set petitions relating to applications for certificates of public good for hearing (if a hearing is required under 30 V.S.A. 231) within a reasonable time. At least one hearing shall be held in the county of the proposed service area to afford opportunity for public comment.

8.214 Criteria.

In determining whether to approve or reject a petition requesting a certificate of public good for a cable system service area, the Board shall consider the following:

(A) The criteria of 30 V.S.A. Chapter 13.

(B) The criteria known as the EMCO criteria:

  1. financial soundness and stability, both of the applicant generally and the particular proposal;
  2. the present proposed service offerings to customers, including the number of channels and the ability and capacity of the system to offer additional varied services in the future, and the ability to provide public access;
  3. the commitment to a construction and in-service schedule;
  4. the experience and ability of the applicant to run and manage a cable tv system;
  5. the tariff and the rates proposed to be charged to customers;
  6. consumer policies, particularly re: complaints and problems;
  7. availability of service to maximum number of residences;
  8. the quality of the engineering and materials used in the system;
  9. logical fit with neighboring systems.
8.215 Approval.

If, after hearing (if required) and investigation, the Board finds pursuant to the above criteria that approval of the applicant's proposal to provide cable service to the proposed area would promote the general good of the state, it shall issue its certificate of public good to such applicant.

8.216 Certificate provisions.

The conditions that shall generally be included in all certificates of public good are shown in Appendix C.

8.220 Termination.

8.221 Transfer of certificates.

A certificate of public good is not transferable, and may not be sold, pledged, mortgaged, or otherwise alienated other than with the approval of the Board. When permission is given by the Board for the sale and purchase of assets of a cable company pursuant to 30 V.S.A. 102, 109, 231, or 232, a new certificate shall be issued to the purchaser.

8.222 Revocation or alteration for cause.

(A) The Board may, after public hearing, cancel, revoke, suspend, or alter any certificate for the following causes:

  1. Willful violation of any provision of Chapter 13 of Title 30.
  2. Willful failure of the certificate holder to comply with any rule, regulation, or order of the Board, including the express terms of the certificate of public good, unless such rule, regulation, or order has been stayed by order of the Board or by the Supreme Court.
  3. Failure, without written permission of the Board, to commence operations according to the construction and commencement of service schedule made a condition of the certificate of public good.
  4. After commencing operations, for failure (without good cause shown) to render adequate service for a continuous period exceeding thirty days.
(B) The burden of proof in a revocation hearing is on the party seeking the cancellation, revocation, suspension, or alteration; the standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence.

8.223 Removal of property.

(A) In the event that a certificate of public good is revoked or cancelled, the holder thereof shall, upon order of the Board and at its own expense, promptly remove all its property and promptly restore the street or other area from which it is removed to the condition existing before such removal, or to a reasonable condition as may be directed by the municipality or public authority.

(B) The Board may, upon written application therefor by the certificate holder, approve the abandonment of any such property in place under such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe. The Board shall not unreasonably refuse permission to so abandon underground plant.

(C) The provisions of this section shall apply only if ownership of the property is not transferred pursuant to federal law.

8.230 Renewal. (Reserved for later Rulemaking)

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