Tuesday, May 13, 2014

City Seeking Input On Renewal Of Comcast's Cable Franchise

The City of Seattle is holding a special meeting tonight from 6:30-8pm to gather input from residents on the renewal of Comcast’s cable franchise.

The current franchise expires in January 2016 and a new one could last as long as 10-years though the year 2026! 
The information says:

Community input helps determine the types of future needs and interests the City should try to address in the new franchise.
As part of the franchise renewal process, the City commissioned an engineering report on the State of the Art and Evolution of Cable Television and Broadband Technology as the new cable franchise will have a 10-year term.  
This report provides the City and its residents with a glimpse into how the cable industry is changing in the world of all-digital and IP based signal delivery. This is important to understand when thinking of how community cable-related needs and interests might be supported by Comcast into the future.  
In order to provide their services, cable companies have to use the public rights-of-way (ROW) to install their cable equipment and facilities throughout the city. A cable franchise is the formal agreement between the City and a cable provider outlining the terms and conditions under which it can use the public ROW.  
The franchise imposes various obligations on the cable company including compensating the City for use of the ROW, protecting the rights and interests of Seattle residents and cable subscribers, and providing certain public benefits. 
Comcast currently operates in Seattle under a franchise agreement effective since January 2006.  The agreement allows Comcast to use the City's ROW in return for the payment of certain rental fees - known as franchise fees - and other benefits for Seattle and its residents.

The meeting is being held at the Miller Community Center (330 19th Avenue East).

If you can't attend the meeting here are others ways to give input:
  • Complete the City’s Cable Renewal survey
  • Share renewal-related comments with Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications
For more information on this renewal process go here.

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