15.1 Regulation. Grantor shall have the right to regulate charges to Subscribers for Cable Service to the extent allowed by law.
15.2 Rate or Service Discriminations: Special Classifications. No Cable Operator shall subject any person to any prejudice or disadvantage, preference or advantage in connection with rates, charges, service facilities, rules or regulations. Nothing herein shall prohibit the establishment of a graduated scale of rates for classified schedules to which any Subscribers within such classification shall be entitled.
15.3 Connection Charges. Subscribers shall be assessed no special connection charges other than standard installation charges for cable drops from any Cable Operatorís distribution plant up to two hundred (200) feet. Subscribers requiring drops over two hundred (200) feet shall be charged only for the incremental cost of extending the drop beyond two hundred (200) feet.
15.4 Rates and Programming.
(a) Each Cable Operator shall give the Town and each Subscriber thirty (30) days~ written notice of any change in Subscriber rates or charges. At the Townís request, exercised by the Town giving the Cable Operator at least ten (10) daysí notice thereof, the Cable Operator shall attend, and respond to questions, at any public meeting held by the Town concerning the rate increase. Notice to Subscribers of rate changes shall be by mail. Each Cable Operator shall also provide each Subscriber at least annually with a detailed explanation of downgrade and upgrade policies and the manner in which Subscribers may terminate Cable Service. Subscribers shall have at least thirty (30) days from receipt of notification of any rate increase to either downgrade service or terminate altogether without any charge.
(b) Each Cable Operator shall give the Town and each Subscriber thirty (30) days written notice of any change, including additions or deletions, or change in Channel position, in the programming carried on the Cable System, as well as any retiering of such programming, and any other changes in the programming service offered by each Cable Operator. At the request of the Town, with at least ten (10) daysí notice, each Cable Operator shall meet with the Town at a public meeting to discuss programming issues and options and to hear and consider the input of the Town and the public.
(c) Each Cable Operator shall use its best efforts to provide a wide diversity of programming options to its Subscribers. Each Cable Operator shall provide the following broad categories of programming:
(1) public broadcasting programming;
(2) educational programming;
(5) sports programming;
(6) childrenís programming;
(8)~arts and/or cultural programming; and
(9) family programming.
(d) Rate schedules shall be provided to Subscribers annually.
15.5~ Billing Practices. Each Cable Operator shall set forth, in writing its billing and collection practices and policies, and procedures for ordering changes in or termination of services and refund policies, and shall furnish a copy thereof to each new Subscriber and to Grantor, and thereafter to Grantor and all Subscribers at such time as there is a change in such policies.
15.6~ Pro-Rated Service. In the event a Subscriberís service is terminated, monthly charges for service shall be pro-rated on a daily basis and, where advance payment has been made by a Subscriber, the appropriate refund shall be made by the Cable Operator to the Subscriber within thirty (30) days of such termination.
15.7~ Disconnection for Non-Payment. A Cable Operator shall have the right to disconnect a Subscriber for failure to pay an overdue account; provided, that:
(a) The Cable Operatorís billing practices and policy statement set forth the conditions under which an account will be considered overdue;
(b) At least twelve (12) days prior to the proposed disconnection, the Cable Operator mails to the Subscriber written notice of intent to disconnect for delinquency in payment;
(c) The Subscriberís account is at least sixty (60) days delinquent at the time said notice is mailed, and
(d) The disconnection occurs at least twelve (12) days, and not more than sixty (60) days, after the mailing of the above written notice.
15.8~ Notice of Rates and Programming. All rates and charges associated with the provision of Cable Service and the lease of Channel space shall be published. A written schedule of all such rates currently in effect, including special and promotional rates, shall be available and obtainable in person or by mail upon request during business hours at each Cable Operatorís business office.
(a) At least once each calendar year, each Cable Operator shall provide to each Subscriber and the Town a complete schedule of all services, rates and charges for Cable Service provided by the Cable Operator and of the programming offered and channel alignment. Such information shall also be provided to all new or prospective Subscribers prior to installation or commencement of service.
(b) Such information shall be written in plain English and shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: all services, tiers and rates, deposits, if applicable, installation costs, additional television set installation charges, service upgrade or downgrade charges, stolen or lost converter charges, charges for lockout devices and for connecting video cassette recorders to the Cable System.
15.9 General Customer Service. Each Cable Operator shall comply with any and all customer service standards provided under Maine law, Federal law, FCC regulations, including those regulations found at 47 C.F.R. ß76.309, and as promulgated by the cable industry, (such as NCTA standards), as well as with the provisions of the applicable Franchise Agreement. To the extent of any difference or conflict in the requirements of this Ordinance, the Franchise Agreement, State and federal law, FCC regulations and/or cable industry standards, the strictest of such standards shall govern.