March 6, 2014

Committee on Finance approves three-month extension of Comcast Franchise because “still negotiating” over CAN TV

Alderman Burke presides over the March 4th Committee on Finance Meeting.
Today the Committee on Finance convened and voted on an extension of the Comcast cable franchise, granting the City another three months to work out an agreement with Comcast. Included in this decision is the option for an additional three month extension at the discretion of the BACP Commissioner should even more time be needed. CMA members were in attendance and happy to hear multiple Aldermen speak up and ask questions about the franchise process, the reasons for the extension, and make their expectations clear. 

Aldermen Reilly, Alderman Pope, and Alderman Arena made especially strong statements and proved themselves allies of the public when it comes to the Comcast franchise. Two important points were made by each of these Aldermen independently:
  1. They expect a quick resolution within three months if not sooner.
  2. They expect that CAN TV’s benefits in the Comcast renewal agreement to at a minimum be equivalent to the RCN agreement. 

Alderman Pope expressed surprise that they were asking for an extension given that the RCN agreement provides a template that was agreeable to all parties. Alderman Reilly brought his concern that Chicago not end up like other cities where public access has been defunded by cable companies. Alderman Arena told the city representatives that he and his colleagues take seriously the negotiations and they are aware of how important CAN TV is to Chicagoans.

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