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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 211
Statement of policy
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 11
§ 211. Statement of policy. While cable television serves in part as
an extension of interstate broadcasting, its operations involve public
rights-of-way, municipal franchising, and vital business and community
service, and, therefore, are of state concern; while said operations
must be subject to state oversight, they also must be protected from
undue restraint and regulation so as to assure cable systems with
optimum technology and maximum penetration in this state as rapidly as
economically and technically feasible; municipalities and the state
would benefit from valuable educational and public services through
cable television systems; the public and the business community would
benefit if served by cable channels sufficient to meet the needs of
producers and distributors of program and other communication content
services; many municipalities lack the necessary resources and expertise
to plan for and secure these benefits and to protect subscribers and
other parties to the public interest in franchise negotiations; the
cable television industry is in a period of rapid growth and corporate
consolidation and should proceed in accord with regional and statewide
service objectives; and the cable television industry, notwithstanding
its unique attributes, is part of an increasingly integrated
communications industry, the soundness of which is essential to the
state's economic growth and general welfare.

There is, therefore, a need for a state agency to determine state
communications policy; to ensure that cable television companies provide
adequate, economical and efficient service to their subscribers, the
municipalities within which they are franchised and other parties to the
public interest; to oversee the development of a cable television
industry responsive to community and public interest, consonant with
federal regulations and statutes; and to oversee the development of the
communications industry as a whole and to encourage the endeavors of
public and private institutions, municipalities, associations and
organizations in developing programming for the public interest.

The public service commission is the agency best suited to oversee
development of the cable television industry in this state in accordance
with a statewide service plan and consistent with state communications
policy generally; to review the suitability of practices for franchising
cable television companies to protect the public interest; to set
standards for cable television systems and franchise practices; to
assure channel availability for municipal services, educational
television, program diversity, local expression and other program and
communications content services; to provide consultant services to
community organizations and municipalities and franchise negotiations;
and, to stimulate the development of diverse instructional, educational,
community interest and public affairs programming with full access
thereto by cable television companies, educational broadcasters and
public and private institutions operating closed circuit television
systems and instructional television fixed services.