Monday, December 19, 2016

Time to comment on cable franchise agreement

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 2:23 PM

click to enlarge Comcast's new franchise agreement is up for public comment. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • Comcast's new franchise agreement is up for public comment.
Colorado Springs City Council is nearing a decision about renewing Comcast's cable franchise with the city and has planned two hearings to hear public comment.

Both will be held at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave. The first is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19. The second will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31.

To comment by email: ComcastComments@springsgov.com

By mail: City of Colorado Springs Communications
30 S. Nevada Avenue, Suite 606
Mail Code 606
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

The proposed agreement is available at the link provided above, or in hard copy at the City Clerk's Office at 30 S. Nevada, and at the security desk on City Hall's first floor.

The proposed 10-year agreement permits Comcast to use city rights-of-way to construct, operate, and maintain a cable system in exchange for a percentage of Comcast’s gross revenues.

Here's the pertinent part of the agreement dealing with franchise fees:
As compensation for the benefits and privileges granted under this Franchise and in consideration of permission to use the City’s Rights-of-Way, Grantee shall continue to pay the City the sum of one dollar twenty cents ($1.20) per Subscriber per month as a franchise fee (“Franchise Fee”) until ninety (90) days after the Effective Date or July 1, 2017, whichever is later (“New Payment Date”). Commencing on the New Payment Date, Grantee shall pay the City an amount equal to three and one-half percent (3.5%) of Grantee’s Gross Revenues as a
Franchise Fee. The Franchise Fee shall be increased to four and one-half percent (4.5%) within one (1) year after the New Payment Date and shall be increased to five percent (5%) within two (2) years after the New Payment Date, provided that all other Cable Operators providing Cable
Services in the City are required to pay the same Franchise Fee rates (i.e. percentage of Gross Revenue and increases in such percentage) and commencing on the same dates as set forth in this Section 3.1. The Franchise Fee may be recovered from Subscribers by Grantee in accordance with Applicable Law. 
The 89-page agreement will not dictate rates, and the company will have to answer complaints from customers.

The agreement was due for renewal last year but was delayed while City Council worked out details of the new contract's provisions.

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