47 U.S. Code § 531 - Cable channels for public, educational, or governmental use
A franchising authority may establish requirements in a franchise with respect to the designation or use of channel capacity for public, educational, or governmental use only to the extent provided in this section.
A franchising authority may in its request for proposals require as part of a franchise, and may require as part of a cable operator’s proposal for a franchise renewal, subject to section 546 of this title, that channel capacity be designated for public, educational, or governmental use, and channel capacity on institutional networks be designated for educational or governmental use, and may require rules and procedures for the use of the channel capacity designated pursuant to this section.
A franchising authority may enforce any requirement in any franchise regarding the providing or use of such channel capacity. Such enforcement authority includes the authority to enforce any provisions of the franchise for services, facilities, or equipment proposed by the cable operator which relate to public, educational, or governmental use of channel capacity, whether or not required by the franchising authority pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
Subject to section 544(d) of this title, a cable operator shall not exercise any editorial control over any public, educational, or governmental use of channel capacity provided pursuant to this section, except a cable operator may refuse to transmit any public access program or portion of a public access program which contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity.
For purposes of this section, the term “institutional network” means a communication network which is constructed or operated by the cable operator and which is generally available only to subscribers who are not residential subscribers.
1996—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–104 inserted before period at end “, except a cable operator may refuse to transmit any public access program or portion of a public access program which contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity”.
[For information regarding constitutionality of section 10(c) of Pub. L. 102–385, set out above, see Congressional Research Service, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Appendix 1, Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States.]
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