What is a Cable Franchise?
Cable television is regulated through federal and state law, along with the local franchise the City of Burnsville holds with the cable provider. This franchise agreement allows the company to operate cable television and internet systems in the City, and run cable on and through City-owned right-of-way. The City’s current 15-year franchise was accepted on Jan. 24, 2000 by Comcast’s predecessor, meaning the current franchise expires in January 2015.
What does the City get from this agreement?
As part of the current franchise agreement, the City currently receives benefits from the cable company that include:
Can the City control cable rates under the franchise?
The City Council has no authority over rate regulation. A change in federal law some years ago removed the City's authority to regulate the basic rate charged to residents for cable service. In addition, a petition to the Federal Communications Commission by Comcast (that was accepted in 2011) removed the City's authority to regulate rates for cable television equipment.
While the franchise provides residents with protection of the public right-of-way, and a number of other community benefits, the current regulatory climate does not provide rate increase protection. It is left to competition in the marketplace to help dictate those rates.
The City does have a complaint process that can be initiated with Comcast. Please submit a request online to start the process.
Comcast Customer Service