A public hearing will be held by the West Windsor Council on the renewal of Comcast Corporation’s cable TV franchise contract with the township. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the hearing will be held on January 3, 2017.
The present 15-year agreement between the township and Comcast Corporation will expire by next March. Comcast’s Director of government and community affairs, Robert Clifton recently appeared before the Council in order to discuss about the future of this agreement. The franchise agreement between the two parties allowed the telecom provider to make use of the municipal road for their telecommunications infrastructure. However, Comcast is liable to pay a fee for this to happen.
Linda Geevers, the Council President motivated the residents of the region to submit their queries and suggestions about the provider’s products and services. Residents can submit their concerns and queries through the municipal website to Marlena Schimd, who is the business administrator. “This is important so that issues can be documented and addressed during negotiations with Comcast,” Geevers said.
Clifton noted that the program contents and rates of the company are governed by federal regulations and by the state and thus “outside municipal purview” during the negotiations of the franchise agreement. Reports also indicate that the franchise agreement between the two parties is non-exclusive. This means that other telecom providers, who are operating in this region, are also eligible for servicing the town upon certification.
Earlier, the board of directors directly granted certification to Verizon Wireless, who is another popular telecom provider in the country. On the other hand, Comcast Corporation has to deal directly with the municipalities.
An estimated total of $349,000 was submitted to the town as the Cable Television Franchise fees in the year, 2017. In addition to that, Comcast Corporation is also offering a channel for Mercer County Community College and a dedicated government access channel.
Comcast had also promised that they would offer free basic TV service to every classroom in WW-P schools and to all the municipal buildings. Furthermore, the provider also promised $20,000 for audio and video broadcast upgrades in Council chambers, $75,000 to support technology initiatives in the school district and to offer free internet service to one personal computer in each public library and school.