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(A) Unless otherwise provided for in the franchise, each cable system shall offer a minimum of 77 full-time video programming services to subscribers. Cable systems shall utilize fiber to the node architecture consistent with cable television industry standards in order to meet the FCC technical specifications. In addition, the average fiber node size shall be no greater than 2,500 homes per node and the average amplifier cascade shall be no greater than 12, with the longest amplifier cascade no greater than 15. For cable systems that were initially constructed prior to the effective date of this chapter, the timeline to incorporate fiber to the node shall be as noted in the franchise. Considering the rapid changes in cable system technology, a grantee may present for city approval an alternative architecture that results in comparable benefits to cable system picture quality and reliability as fiber to the node. Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(B) Such cable system shall have the technical capacity for “two-way” communications, provided, however, that the return does not need to be activated, and the offering of two-way services is not required, until the grantee believes that such services are technically and economically feasible, and the grantee has obtained such additional regulatory consent as may be required by state or federal law to provide two-way services.
(C) At the city’s request, unless otherwise designated in the franchise, the grantee shall maintain the following:
(1) At least one specially designated noncommercial public access channel available on a first-come, nondiscriminatory basis;
(2) At least one specially designated, noncommercial channel for use by local educational authorities;
(3) At least one specially designated, noncommercial channel for local governmental uses;
(4) These uses may be combined on one or more channels until such time as dedicated channels become necessary. Capital support for the purchase and/or replacement of equipment for public, educational and government access shall be separately incorporated into the franchise.
(5) Upon written request by the city, and provided that no regulatory consent is required from any state or federal authority for the provision of services requested by the city, grantee shall construct and make available an institutional network (“I-Net”) of cable, optical, electrical or electronic equipment, used for the purpose of transmitting two-way signals between designated city buildings. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a requirement for the grantee to construct an institutional network without fair reimbursement from the city of the capital cost to provide such facilities, nor receive air compensation for the maintenance and use of such network.
(D) The grantee shall incorporate into its cable system the capacity which will permit the city, in times of emergency, to override, by remote control, the audio of all channels simultaneously which the grantee may lawfully override. The grantee shall provide emergency broadcast capacity pursuant to FCC rules. The grantee shall cooperate with the city in the use and operation of the emergency alert override system. The city shall permit only appropriately trained and authorized persons to operate the EAS equipment and shall take reasonable precautions to prevent any use of the grantee’s cable system in any manner that results in the inappropriate use thereof, or any loss or damage to the cable system. Except to the extent expressly prohibited by law, the city shall hold the grantee, its employees, officers and assigns harmless from any claims arising out of the emergency use of its facilities by the city, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys fees and costs.
(E) (1) The city may desire for the grantee to interconnect its cable system with other adjacent cable television systems for the purpose of sharing public, educational, and governmental access programming. Interconnections shall only be implemented upon agreement between grantee and the contiguous cable operator.
(2) Interconnection procedure. Upon receiving the directive of the city to interconnect, the grantee shall immediately initiate good-faith negotiations with the other affected system or systems in order that all costs may be shared equally among cable companies for both construction and operation of the interconnection link.
(3) Cooperation required. The grantee shall reasonably cooperate with any interconnection corporation, regional interconnection authority or city, county, state and federal regulatory agency which may be hereafter established for the purpose of regulating, financing, or otherwise providing for the interconnection of cable systems beyond the boundaries of the city.
(F) Grantee shall include in its cable service a broad range of programming. Grantee shall take into account the programming preferences of its subscribers in making its programming decisions.
(Ord. 1846, passed 12-7-98)