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(A) The town, pursuant to applicable federal and state law, is authorized to grant one or more nonexclusive franchises to construct, operate, maintain, and reconstruct cable systems within the incorporated areas of the town.
(B) The Board of Aldermen of the town finds that cable service has become an integral part of its citizens’ lives and that evolving cable systems have the potential to play an even more dramatic role in the future, providing great benefits and advanced capabilities to the town. At the same time, the Board further finds that the public convenience, safety, and general welfare can best be served by establishing regulatory powers that are vested in the town or such persons as the town designates.
(C) In order to ensure that the town and its residents receive state-of-the-art cable services and capabilities as this technology further evolves, all franchises granted pursuant to this chapter will be subject to periodic review and modifications to keep current with changing law, technology, and services. It is the intent of this chapter to help ensure that local cable operators provide the best possible cable service to residents of the town, and any franchises issued pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed to include this finding as an integral part thereof.
(D) Further, it is recognized that cable systems have the capacity to provide entertainment and information services to the town’s residents and may have the capacity to provide a variety of broadband, interactive communications services to institutions and individuals. For these purposes, the following goals underlie the regulations contained herein:
(1) Cable television services should be made available to all of the town’s residents at the lowest reasonable cost.
(2) The system should be capable of accommodating both the present and reasonably foreseeable future state-of-the- art cable television needs of the town.
(3) The systems authorized by this chapter shall be responsive to the needs and interests of the local community and shall provide the widest possible diversity of information sources and services to the public.
(4) Each of the above-enumerated goals shall be sought to the maximum extent, taking into account the costs and benefits to the residents of the town.
(E) The Board further finds that on- going industry consolidation could result in less local accountability, and that, therefore, stringent customer service standards, including liquidated damages provisions, may be the only practical means of ensuring compliance and approximating the costs of franchise agreement noncompliance to the town and its residents.