Excerpt from Pittsburgh Cable Franchise Agreement:

SECTION 5.INSTITUTIONAL NETWORKS

5.1 Intent. In connection with its Cable System Upgrade, Franchisee agrees to install high capacity broadband ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) service network capacities as more fully described herein ("Institutional Networks"). Franchisee agrees to construct Institutional Networks capacity and provide for community access to certain of its Internet-based products for the purpose of ensuring access to underserved communities that are not otherwise provided for via other publicly-funded institutions. The capacity shall be used exclusively by the City, and other persons authorized by City to use the Institutional Networks (the "Institutional Subscriber(s)"), subject to the terms and conditions as set forth in this Section 5 of the Agreement.
  1. Definitions. For purposes of this Section:
    1. "Community Access Network" or "Community Network" shall mean that portion of Institutional Network capacity that will be designated for use by persons other than the City, designated pursuant to section 5.4 of this Agreement.
    2. "Community Access Site" shall mean a location for the installation of computers and peripheral equipment as needed to link to the Community Network, as designated by the Member of Council pursuant to section 5.4 of this Agreement.
    3. "Institutional Networks" or "I-Nets" mean networks of high capacity service related to and, to the extent deemed feasible by the Franchisee, jointly constructed with the System Upgrade of Franchisee's Cable System; such network is to be designed and constructed by the Franchisee and is not generally available to Subscribers of the Franchisee's Cable System. The term Institutional Network shall refer collectively to the City Institutional Network as set forth in section 5.2, the Community Network detailed in section 5.4, or to the Education Network as set forth in section 5.5. As used in this Section, the term "I-Net" shall not include any electronics or other equipment needed to activate the networks, except as noted herein.
    4. "Service Outage" means any loss of functionality on any of the Institutional Networks.
    5. "Work" means whatever is required of the Franchisee to perform and complete its duties under this Section. The term does not refer to activities of the Franchisee required to perform and complete its duties under other Sections of this Franchise Agreement, including but not limited to construction of the System Upgrade.

5.2 City Institutional Network
  1. Description
    1. The City Institutional Network shall consist of a high capacity, broadband, general purpose communications network (the "City Network"). The network shall employ ATM switching technology capable of supporting a wide range of voice, data and video interfaces. The ATM switches shall be linked by a backbone fiber optic network.
    2. The Franchisee shall be responsible for installing and maintaining all of the components required to support the City’s telecommunications requirements to be served by the City Network. Major components of the City Network include but are not limited to ATM switches, backbone fiber optic links, City Network management platform, system operating software and customer service interface equipment.
    3. Throughout the term of the Franchise, the Franchisee will be responsible for performing reasonable upgrades of the Network to ensure that the system remains technologically current.
    4. The initial network deployment will include ATM switching equipment to links supporting data rates of OC3 and OC12. The facilities are to be connected by fiber optic cable terminated with SC connectors; Exhibit 1 contains a list of the 23 sites that will comprise the network along with the designation of the minimum acceptable fiber interface link.
    5. The Franchisee shall supply the City, under the terms of this Agreement, all user interface modules and equipment to connect the City’s voice, data and video equipment. The output or connection point to the interface modules will for purposes of this section be defined as the "Demarcation Point." Initially, this requirement can be met by providing interface to high speed Ethernet, DS1, DS3 and full motion NTSC video with associated camera control for pan, tilt and zoom function. As new interface modules requirements develop, the Franchisee will assume the responsibility for expanding the inventory of available interface devices. Franchisee’s responsibilities for the City Institutional Network, including facilities, maintenance and repair terminate at the Demarcation Point.
    6. The Franchisee will provide the City with a design and relevant engineering support documentation for review and acceptance by the City within ninety (90) days of the Effective Date of the Agreement. Construction of the City Network shall be completed within thirty (30) months of the Effective Date of the Franchise, or by the date it completes construction of its System Upgrade, whichever is earlier. The City will cooperate with Franchisee to ensure compliance with this requirement.
    7. The City may attach such devices to the City Network or upgrade City Network equipment as it deems appropriate, provided that such devices do not adversely affect the technical integrity of the City Network.
    8. The City may connect the City Network to other internal networks at the Demarcation Point.
  2. Ownership and Management; Limitation of Liability.
    1. Ownership of the City Network distribution system facilities shall remain with the Franchisee. Franchisee shall be responsible for maintenance, repair and management of the City Network during the term of this Agreement.
    2. The City shall be responsible for installation and maintenance of any customer premise equipment such as: switches, servers, routers or other active components required beyond the Demarcation Point. The Franchisee is responsible for the network from Demarcation Point to Demarcation Point, and for any components thereon, as well as any components at the Franchisee’s switching centers.
    3. In the event of a failure of the City Network, whether in whole or in part, Franchisee’s liability shall be limited solely to (i) repairing or replacing the City Network pursuant to the service, maintenance and performance standards specified in Section 5.2(F) and (ii) the provisions of Sections 18.1 and 18.2 of this Franchise. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit Franchisee’s obligations specified in Section 13 of this Franchise. In the event of a failure caused by unauthorized computer intrusion or a failure in the transmission of data, the Franchisee’s liability, if any, shall not exceed an amount equal to the proportionate charge by the Franchisee for the service for the period during which the service provided by the Franchisee was affected or so utilized.
  3. Construction.
    1. Concurrent with the installation of fiber optic capacity during the System Upgrade, the Franchisee shall complete construction of the City Network in accordance with this Agreement to the locations listed in Exhibit 1.
      1. The City shall have access to the Work at all times from commencement of the Work through its completion, in accordance with applicable law. The Franchisee shall take all reasonable steps to provide access when requested, provided, however, that such access shall not unreasonably impede efforts of the Franchisee, its subcontractors or others engaged in the Work.
      2. Changes in the Work within the general scope of this Section, consisting of reasonable additions, deletions, revisions or any combination thereof, may be ordered by change order, subject to mutual agreement where additional costs are expected to be incurred. If the City thereafter directs the Franchisee to perform the work, Franchisee agrees to do so. To ensure that the City is in a position to take advantage of economies that may accrue from Cable System construction, Franchisee will notify City of its construction plans for its Cable System on an ongoing basis so that such changes can be made in a timely and economical manner.
    2. The acceptance testing to determine completion of I-Net construction will be composed of two parts:
      1. Physical inspection
      2. End to end performance testing
    3. Each of these inspections will lead to the initial operation testing of the network, develop the turnover documentation and form a reference for future troubleshooting.
    4. The physical configuration of the I-Net will be inspected to monitor conformance with the I-Net design, the Franchise, and applicable law. Inspections of the cable runs and components will be made during the construction process to maintain the integrity of the design and Franchisee shall keep records thereof. Should a change be required, written documentation shall be developed that outlines the reason for the change.
    5. Construction of the City Network pursuant to this section shall include the following procedures:
      1. The Franchisee shall notify the City in writing fifteen (15) days in advance of completion of construction of each site identified in Exhibit 1. The notice shall include the date the Franchisee is prepared to conduct an OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) test to demonstrate that the fiber connectivity meets manufacturer's specifications. The test must be conducted in the presence of the City's designated observer.
      2. The City shall also have the option of conducting a physical inspection of the construction and connections to the site. This inspection shall be conducted no later than the date of the test in paragraph (i).
      3. If the connections to the site pass the performance test required by paragraph (i) above and the City does not inform the Franchisee in writing within 10 days that the physical inspection discloses errors in construction or installation or fails to conform with the approved design, the site shall be deemed accepted. Acceptance of a test shall not be unreasonably withheld. If the City does not accept the site test, it will provide a written explanation of the reasons it refuses to accept the test. The Franchisee shall promptly correct and deficiencies in the Work, and retest that site.
    6. In addition, as part of the acceptance testing, the Franchisee will demonstrate that the combined networks used to transmit and receive signals are operating and meeting the standards for the City Network from the City perspective, to the Demarcation Point. If the testing shows that there is a problem with the internal wiring or equipment for a location that is not the Franchisee’s responsibility, the City and the locations will be so notified.
    7. The City may inspect the City Network, and require appropriate testing as a condition of payment of any invoice for maintenance, or in order to ensure that repairs have been properly completed.
  4. Charges and Fees.
    1. Costs and charges associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the City Network shall be paid by Franchisee, as set forth herein and Franchisee will be permitted to treat its reasonably-related expenses attributable to the City Network as franchise related costs in accordance with FCC rules and regulations, provided that Franchisee performs a cost assessment upon completion of City Network construction. Subscriber bills may be adjusted downward to reflect such assessment. City Network costs shall not be considered to be Franchise Fees nor may they be credited against Franchise Fees.
    2. All charges for the construction, operation and maintenance of the City Network for use by the City shall be limited to the Franchisee’s Direct Incremental Costs of providing such services. "Direct Incremental Costs" means the costs directly and actually incurred by Franchisee in meeting a requirement under this Franchise which Franchisee would otherwise not have been required to incur as part of its operation of its Cable System network, or in order to meet another obligation of this Franchise. In calculating direct Incremental Costs, the Franchisee shall not include costs that are already accounted for under the Upgrade.
  5. Additional Work. After completion of the initial City Network construction, the City may, from time to time, request the Franchisee to connect the City Network to additional locations, and Franchisee shall do so if the parties can agree to reasonable terms and conditions. To ensure that the City is in a position to take advantage of economies that may accrue from Cable System construction, Franchisee will notify City of its construction plans for its Cable System on an ongoing basis so that the City Network can be expanded in a timely and economical manner.
  6. Maintenance.
    1. Franchisee will provide technical support 24 hours a day, seven (7) days per week. This will be accomplished with "on-call" technicians who are scheduled to carry a pager, will respond to all pages within thirty (30) minutes, and will be on site within 30 minutes, in the case of a public safety emergency.
    2. Franchisee will set up mechanisms and procedures for all City Network users to quickly and easily report system trouble. These trouble or service calls will then be documented, processed, and completed in the same manner as Subscriber calls. With this documentation will come monthly City Network service call reports which will include a breakdown of reasons and resolutions as well as call handling efficiency.
    3. Notwithstanding the staffing, testing and equipment and response requirements set forth herein, the Franchisee will provide in-house and/or contractor staff, spare and equipment backup, test and maintenance equipment and additional steps as necessary to ensure that the City Network can transmit signals reliably up to the applicable standards:
      1. Franchisee will provide City Network users the highest level of service, reliability, repair and maintenance that is made available to any commercial or residential user of the Cable System.
      2. City Network paths carrying critical circuits (as identified by the City) shall receive the highest priority in the Franchisee’s I-Net repair program.
    4. The City Network reliability for all channels and transmission links between any two Demarcation Points, plus equipment for which the Franchisee is responsible at the User premises shall meet or exceed 99.8 %. This shall be taken to mean that the total cumulative Service Outage time at any City Network site attributable to a failure of that portion of the City Network for which Franchisee is responsible shall not exceed 17.5 hours over the period of one year. Normal Service Outages or System Outages that have been scheduled in advance by the Franchisee with a designated representative of the City shall not be covered under the definition of a failure.
    5. At any time that any fiber cable is known to fall below the performance standards set forth herein, actions shall be taken to restore the operation of the network to the standards within 2 hours. Franchisee will cooperate with the City to allow the City access to facilities as necessary to maintain and monitor signal and fiber quality on the City Network.

5.3 Senior Community Centers and Recreation Centers. Upon completion of the initial Upgrade, Franchisee shall provide up to eighty (80) cable modems and Internet access service, to every Senior Community Center and Recreation Center operated or otherwise under the control of the City.

5.4 Community Access Network.
  1. Community Access Plans and Site Selection Process.
    1. One node in each designated City neighborhood (up to 88 such sites, i.e., one for each neighborhood) will be identified for a connection from the node to a pole that will serve to connect a Community Access Site in that neighborhood to the Community Network. Upon a showing of ongoing funding for the connection, Franchisee shall pay the Direct Incremental Costs of running fiber from the node to the pole serving the Community Access Site. Within forty-five (45) days of the Effective Date of this Agreement, the Member or Members of Council serving each neighborhood shall designate one Community Access Site for that neighborhood, and one alternate location for such Site. Upon identifying the Community Access Site, the Member or Members of Council shall designate a Site Coordinator for that Site. Within the ensuing sixty (60) days, the Site Coordinator shall be responsible for preparing a Community Access Plan for the Community Access Site, consisting the following elements:
      1. a plan for providing access to underserved members of the neighborhood population not otherwise served by other public institutions, and a detailed description of how the Community Access Plan accomplishes this objective;
      2. information regarding accessibility should be designated in a manner (e.g., child-friendly, handicapped accessibility, convenient hours) that will encourage use by the underserved populations targeted in the Community Access Plan. All best efforts should be employed to identify existing public facilities currently open to the general public. A Community Access Site can, but need not be, a School, a public library or a City facility.
      3. an agreement that the Community Access Plan is in compliance with PITTSBURGH CODE OF ORDINANCES, Title VI, Article V (Discrimination);
      4. an agreement that each potential Community Access Site(s) identified pursuant to (b) above will comply with PITTSBURGH CODE OF ORDINANCES, Title VI, Article V (Discrimination);
      5. a detailed management plan for ongoing operation of the Community Access Site; and
      6. detailed identification of funding sources for equipment and materials needed to connect and activate the Community Access Site, including ongoing operational costs of maintaining the Community Access Site.
    2. Each Site shall have a designated interior point of demarcation for the Community Network within the Community Access Site (interior hub site).
    3. Franchisee shall include each site identified in (2) above in the preliminary design plan for the Cable System Upgrade.
    4. During the 60-day review period, the Member(s) of Council serving each neighborhood and Franchisee shall consult with one another to assess the Community Network requirements for hardware and signal transport capacity for each site to determine minimum and maximum capacity requirements for each site. Based on these assessments, the Franchisee will estimate the hardware and signal transport costs for each of the proposed Community Access Site locations.
      1. The hardware estimate will detail the Direct Incremental Cost for site hardware purchase, installation, hardware maintenance and interior site wiring, taking into consideration existing interior site wiring and equipment already owned by the site that the site wants to incorporate into its use of the Community Network. Franchisee will make a good faith effort to incorporate such wiring and equipment.
      2. The signal transport estimate will provide the Direct Incremental Costs for providing capacity use on the distribution network, distribution network hardware, ongoing network maintenance and construction.
    5. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the design and cost estimates for the construction of the Community Network and proposed individual sites, the Member of Council shall confirm with Franchisee the Community Access Site for each neighborhood and notify the Franchisee of that selection.
    6. A neighborhood may elect a coaxial cable modem connection and Franchisee’s cable modem service in lieu of (4) and (5) above, by so advising their Member of Council.
    7. Notwithstanding (1) – (6) above, Franchisee shall construct backbone fiber optic links for Community Network use. Revenues received by Franchisee from the provision of services over such facilities shall not be subject to franchise fees nor may they be credited against franchise fees, in accordance with Section 2.33 and Section 5.4(C)(1) of this Agreement.
  2. Ownership and Management.
    1. Ownership of the Community Network distribution system facilities shall remain with the Franchisee. Franchisee shall be responsible for maintenance, repair and management of the Community Network during the term of this Agreement.
    2. The Institutional Subscriber shall be responsible for installation and maintenance of its customer premise equipment such as: switches, servers, routers or other active components required beyond the Demarcation Point. The Franchisee is responsible for the Community Network from Demarcation Point to Demarcation Point, and for any components thereon, as well as any components at the Franchisee’s switching centers.
  3. Charges and Fees.
    1. Costs and charges associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the Community Network or cable modem service shall be paid by individual Institutional Subscribers, pursuant to the terms of a separate agreement with Franchisee. Franchisee will be permitted to treat its reasonably-related expenses attributable to the Community Network as franchise related costs and pass them through to Subscribers in Basic Service rates in accordance with FCC rules and regulations, provided that such costs may be adjusted downward pursuant to a cost assessment upon completion of Community Network construction. Community Network fees shall not be subject to Franchise Fees nor may they be credited against Franchise Fees.
    2. All charges for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Community Network for use by Institutional Subscribers shall be limited to the Franchisee’s Direct Incremental Costs of providing such services. "Direct Incremental Costs" means the costs directly and actually incurred by Franchisee in meeting a requirement under this Franchise which Franchisee would otherwise not have been required to incur as part of its operation of its Cable System, or in order to meet another obligation of this Franchise. In calculating Direct Incremental Costs, the Franchisee shall not include costs that are already accounted for under the Upgrade, or its provision of service to City sites.
  4. Maintenance and Service Standards.
    1. Except for trouble calls and malfunctions determined to have been caused by an Institutional Subscriber(s), including but not limited to trouble calls related to equipment incompatibility, Franchisee will be responsible for maintenance, repair and management of the Community Network.
    2. Institutional Subscribers shall be guaranteed a response by a human customer service representative to customer service requests within four (4) hours of the request, during Normal Business Hours.
    3. Franchisee shall provide at least one week advance notice to any affected Institutional Subscriber of any maintenance requiring temporary interruption of services, except in emergency situations.
    4. The Franchisee and Institutional Subscriber shall develop a mutually agreeable priority listing of critical circuits and their terminal locations. In any requests for repair, Institutional Subscribers shall alert the Franchisee as to critical circuits requiring priority repair. Franchisee shall utilize its best efforts to repair critical circuits on a priority basis.
    5. Institutional Subscribers will not attach any equipment or otherwise use the Community Network in any manner that will interfere with the signal quality and the normal operation of the Franchisee's Cable System in conformity with this Franchise and FCC regulations, including but not limited to regulations pertaining to signal leakage.

5.5 Education Institutional Network.
  1. As part of the System Upgrade, Franchisee agrees to construct Institutional Network capacity for the use of Schools, public libraries, and public museums such access to be wired to the Demarcation Point within the building, provided that the School, public library and public museum enters into a managed services agreement with Franchisee. For purposes of this Section, "public museum" shall mean an institution for the acquisition, preservation, study and exhibition of works of artistic, historical, or scientific value supported wholly, or in part, by federal, state, or local government funds.
  2. Ownership and Management.
    1. Ownership of the Education Network distribution system facilities shall remain with the Franchisee. Franchisee agrees to manage the Network for the duration of this Agreement. Franchisee shall be responsible for maintenance, repair and management of the Education Network.
    2. The Institutional Subscriber shall be responsible for installation and maintenance of its customer premise equipment such as: switches, servers, routers or other active components required beyond the Demarcation Point. The Franchisee is responsible for the Education Network from Demarcation Point to Demarcation Point, and for any components thereon, as well as any components at the Franchisee switching centers.
  3. Charges and Fees.
    1. Costs and charges associated with the operation and maintenance of the Education Network shall be paid by individual Institutional Subscribers, pursuant to the terms of a separate agreement with Franchisee. In no event, will Education Network costs be assessed, in whole or in part, against residential cable Subscribers or Franchisee. Education Network fees shall not be subject to Franchise Fees nor may they be credited against Franchise Fees.
    2. All charges for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Education Network for use by Institutional Subscribers shall be limited to the Franchisee’s Direct Incremental Costs of providing such services. "Direct Incremental Costs" means the costs directly and actually incurred by Franchisee in meeting a requirement under this Franchise which Franchisee would otherwise not have been required to incur as part of its operation of its Cable System, or in order to meet another obligation of this Franchise. In calculating Direct Incremental Costs, the Franchisee shall not include costs that are already accounted for under the Upgrade, or its provision of service to City sites.
  4. Maintenance and Service Standards.
    1. Except for trouble calls and malfunctions determined to have been caused by an Institutional Subscriber(s), including but not limited to trouble calls related to equipment incompatibility, Franchisee will be responsible for maintenance, repair and management of the Education Network.
    2. Institutional Subscribers shall be guaranteed a response by a human customer service representative to customer service requests within four (4) hours of the request, during Normal Business Hours.
    3. Franchisee shall provide at least one week advance notice to any affected Institutional Subscriber of any maintenance requiring temporary interruption of services, except in emergency situations.
    4. The Franchisee and Institutional Subscriber shall develop a mutually agreeable priority listing of critical circuits and their terminal locations. In any requests for repair, Institutional Subscribers shall alert the Franchisee as to critical circuits requiring priority repair. Franchisee shall utilize its best efforts to repair critical circuits on a priority basis.
    5. Institutional Subscribers will not attach any equipment or otherwise use the Education Network in any manner that will interfere with the signal quality and the normal operation of the Franchisee's Cable System in conformity with this Franchise and FCC regulations, including but not limited to regulations pertaining to signal leakage.

5.6 General Responsibilities of Franchisee For Institutional Networks.
  1. Franchisee must construct and maintain each Institutional Network using trained and qualified personnel, and in accordance with all applicable laws. Franchisee is responsible for maintaining each Institutional Network so that it is reliable and usable for critical, high-speed data applications, as well as for the transmission of video and voice.
  2. Aerial construction shall be permitted for construction of Institutional Networks to existing facilities outside the Central Business District (as defined by the City of Pittsburgh) except where public safety considerations dictate otherwise. This provision shall apply to connections for facilities used to provide Community Network access under Section 5.4(A)(7).
  3. The Franchisee shall maintain for each Institutional Network from Demarcation Point to Demarcation Point, any components of that Institutional Network between those points.
  4. If any portion of an Institutional Network up to a Demarcation Point is cut or destroyed (unless it is cut or destroyed by the City or an Institutional Subscriber), or if relocation is required, it is Franchisee’s duty to replace, repair, or relocate that Institutional Network infrastructure promptly, at Franchisee’s cost.

5.7 Use. The Institutional Networks are private communications network governed by this Agreement and the Cable Act. The City and Institutional Subscribers will use the Institutional Networks solely for non-commercial applications, and will not resell access to those Institutional Networks.

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This page last updated on 26 June, 2000