Statewide Franchises Still Alive for N.J. Ops


New Jersey cable incumbents may yet get to drop their local cable agreements in the face of competition.

A recently passed bill, which allows for state franchising of new entrants, specifies that current cable providers must live up to the terms of their local agreements through the statutory end of those agreements.

But the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which is charged with implementing that new statewide scheme, announced that one of the additional proposals it will consider is an amendment that will allow any company currently providing cable to convert any or all of its existing franchises to a system franchise without NJBPU or municipal approval.

Such an amendment will be subject to public hearings, planned for December and January. Final adoption of implementation policies is planned early next year.