Cable TV and internet providers, prior to January 1, 2007, operated through local franchise agreements within the municipalities in which they offered service.
Since then, state law has changed giving franchise authority exclusively to the Secretary of State. General statute 66-351, State franchising authority states:
(a) Authority. - The Secretary of State is designated the exclusive franchising authority in this State for cable service provided over a cable system. This designation replaces the authorization to counties and cities in former G.S. 153A-137 and G.S. 160A-319 to award a franchise for cable service. This designation is effective January 1, 2007. After this date, a county or city may not award or renew a franchise for cable service.
(b) Award and Scope. - The Secretary is considered to have awarded a franchise to a person who files a notice of franchise under G.S. 66-352. A franchise for cable service authorizes the holder of the franchise to construct and operate a cable system over public rights-of-way within the area to be served. Chapter 160A of the General Statutes governs the regulation of public rights-of-way by a city. (2006-151, s. 1.)
Here is a link to the entire statute, including a source (in G.S. 66-356(c)) for complaints. Or, you can contact the Consumer Protection Division, NC Attorney General's Office directly at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-566-7226).
All Notice of Franchise documents are now submitted to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, where they are reviewed for completion and correct fee payment. If all documents are complete and fees paid, the Notice of Franchise is filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. At that point, the filer has a State Franchise.
Currently, there is one cable TV provider which operates within the city limits of New Bern. For information about their coverage area and plan pricing, please contact them directly:
Optimum Communications: www.optimum.com
To search additional cable franchises, CLICK HERE.
Unfortunately, the City of New Bern Government cannot assist with provider complaints, as we no longer control franchise agreements or cable provider operations. However, these are some steps you can take to get help with a cable TV problem:
- Call or contact your cable TV company directly (information should be on your bill)
- Contact the North Carolina Department of Justice or the North Carolina Attorney General. The Attorney General has some power to help with State cable franchise issues. You can contact the Attorney General’s Office at:
NC Department of Justice
Consumer Protection Division
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001