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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 501
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F.S. 501.2079
501.2079 Violations involving discrimination in the provision of video services.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Cable service” has the same meaning as in s. 610.103(1).
(b) “Video service” has the same meaning as in s. 610.103(11).
(c) “Resident” means a resident residing within a service area as set out in s. 610.104(2)(e)5. and (6).
(d) “Provider” means a cable or video service provider that has been issued and holds a statutory certificate of franchise authority from the Department of State.
(e) “Discrimination” means the denial of access to cable or video service to any individual or group of residents because of the race or income of the residents in the local area in which such individual or group resides. Such discrimination shall be prohibited as to residents throughout the service area of the municipality or county within which service is provided.
(2) Discrimination among residents by a provider of cable or video services is declared unlawful and constitutes a violation of this section.
(3) For purposes of determining whether a provider has violated subsection (2), a cable or video service provider may satisfy the nondiscrimination requirements of this section through the use of alternative technology that offers service, functionality, and content that is demonstrably similar to that provided through the provider’s system and may include a technology that does not require the use of any public right-of-way. The technology used to comply with the requirements of this section is subject to all the requirements of chapter 610. If a provider makes cable or video service available within a reasonable period of time from the initiation of service to residents in its service area, the provider shall be presumed to be in compliance with subsection (2). A provider is not required to offer or provide service to end users residing in an area having a density of fewer than 30 homes per linear cable mile from the provider’s nearest activated video distribution plant. This section does not impose a buildout requirement.
(4) For purposes of determining whether a provider has violated subsection (2), cost, density, distance, and technological or commercial limitations shall be taken into account. The inability to provide access to cable or video service because a provider is prohibited from placing its own facilities in a building or property or due to natural disasters is not a violation of subsection (2).
(5) Enforcement of this section shall be as provided in ss. 501.206, 501.207 and 501.211.
(6) Upon a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction that a provider has engaged in unlawful discrimination, the provider shall have a reasonable period of time as specified by the court to cure such noncompliance. If the provider fails to cure within a specified time, any provider who is found to have violated subsection (2) is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $15,000 for each such violation. For purposes of this section, discrimination against each individual member of a group constitutes a separate violation and is subject to a separate penalty as set forth in this section.
History.s. 15, ch. 2007-29.