(a) A franchising authority is exclusively empowered to issue a cable franchise to construct or operate facilities for a cable system upon the terms and conditions provided in this article.
(b) The franchising authority, after a public hearing as provided in this article, shall issue a cable franchise to the applicant when the franchising authority is convinced that it is in the public interest to do so. In determining whether a cable franchise shall be issued, the franchising authority shall take into consideration, among other things, any objections arising from the public hearing, the content of the application or proposal, the public need for the proposed service, the ability of the applicant to offer safe, adequate and reliable service at a reasonable cost to the subscribers, the suitability of the applicant, the financial responsibility of the applicant, the technical and operational ability of the applicant to perform efficiently the service for which authority is requested, and any other matters as the franchising authority considers appropriate in the circumstances.
(c) In determining the area which is to be serviced by the applicant, the franchising authority shall take into account the geography and topography of the proposed service area, and the present, planned and potential expansion in facilities or cable services of the applicant's proposed cable system and any of the applicant's existing cable systems.
(d) In issuing a cable franchise under this article, the franchising authority is not restricted to approving or disapproving the application or proposal, but may issue it for only partial exercise of the privilege sought or may attach to the exercise of the right granted by the cable franchise terms, limitations which the franchising authority considers the public interest may require. The cable franchise shall be nonexclusive, shall include a description of the service area in which the cable system is to be constructed, extended or operated and the approximate date on which the service is to commence and shall authorize the cable operator to provide service for a term of fifteen years.