Cable Franchise

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The City of Charlottesville presently licenses and regulates one cable television company operating within the City. There are no monopolies on cable television services in the City other than restrictions placed by individual developers in some neighborhoods. The City's agreement with the Cable licensee is "non-exclusive" and does not prohibit another provider from entering into other agreements with the City and other jurisdictions.

In December of 2003, the County entered into a non-exclusive 10-year Cable Franchise Agreement with Adelphia Cable Communications.  In 2006, following the bankruptcy of Adelphia, Comcast Cablevision of Virginia assumed their role and accepted the franchise agreement.  The 47 page document ensures that quality cable communications is provided to all subscribers and allows for the City of Charlottesville to have a role in maintaining that level of service.  CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2003/2006 franchise agreement.

FRANCHISE RENEWAL

The current Cable Franchise Agreement is under review for renewal.  The City is in conversation with Comcast about a new franchise agreement.  To read a copy of the DRAFT agreement, CLICK HERE.

City staff and city councilors are continuing to discuss this draft.  If you have feedback, please submit it to the City by emailing cablefranchise@charlottesville.org or calling 434-970-3930 and leaving a message.  Feedback can also be sent via US Mail to:
 
City of Charlottesville Office of Communications
PO Box 911
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Cable Television companies like Comcast are for-profit businesses that use public rights-of-way for a private purpose, in this case providing cable television, phone service and high-speed Internet services to consumers. Municipalities, like the City of Charlottesville Government, pay for building and maintaining the public rights-of-way. Utility easements on private property allow cable television providers like Comcast and Adelphia, as well as other utility companies, to lay cable or fiber, or make any necessary repairs.

Franchise and PEG (Public Access Governmental) Fees

Federal law allows the City of Charlottesville to charge cable TV companies, like Comcast, fees for "renting" space in public rights-of-way. These fees are part of the negotiated franchise agreement between governments and cable companies. In Charlottesville, the Franchise Fee is based on the cable company's gross revenue and the dollar amount of your monthly cable services. PEG fees are also allowable to maintain and purchase equipment at the area's Public Access Facilities at CATEC on Rio Road.  A 35 cent monthly fee is charged to City residents who subscribe to basic tier or above cable.  These two funds go into the City's general fund to pay for police, fire, schools, parks, libraries and other government services, including government and educational channels in the City.

 

Complaint Procedures

If you are a Comcast customer and are experiencing service problems or have a billing question, first contact Comcast's customer service department at 1-800-COMCAST. You may submit written questions or complaints to Customer Service, Comcast, 400 Westfield Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Include your name, address, phone number and cable account number. Describe the problem in detail, and be sure to include your desired outcome. If you would like more information about Comcast, click this link to visit the Comcast Web site.

There are several other providers of cable service in our area and their numbers are accessible by dialing 411 or checking your monthly cable bill.

If you have additional concerns or questions regarding your cable service please call the Director of Communications of the City at 434-970-3129 or Email: cityman@charlottesville.org