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County signs new deal with Comcast

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Agreement would add roughly $32,000 to general fund from franchise fees

By Kirsten Laskey

Los Alamos County councilors shook the dust off a 16-year-old franchise agreement with cable provider Comcast and approved a renewal Tuesday.

The renewal grants Comcast the right to use the county’s easements and right-of-ways for its “plain vanilla” cable for 10 years, said Nann Winter of the Albuquerque law firm retained by the council to work on the renewal.

The agreement sets a franchise fee of 5 percent of Comcast’s gross revenue; which was increased from the 3 percent established in the expired agreement.

Estimating there are 2,700 subscribers with an average monthly bill of $50, an additional $32,000 would flow into the general fund from Comcast franchise fees.

The renewal sets standards for FCC testing, Emergency Alert Systems and parental controls.

The county is also permitted to audit Comcast performance and is granted, along with the public schools, complimentary cable and Internet service.

These two entities are not the only ones to be impacted by the renewal.

In the renewal, capital support, which includes a one-time $50,000 grant, will be given to a public, education and government channel. The local PEG channel is PAC 8.


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