03/22/06 — Fremont approves cable TV franchise agreement

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Fremont approves cable TV franchise agreement

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 22, 2006 1:45 PM

FREMONT -- The Fremont Town Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night approved an amendment to its cable television franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable.

The town now will get 5 percent from the cable fees, a 2 percent increase, because the state now is collecting 7 percent in sales tax on cable subscriptions.

The board approved the same ordinance Feb. 28. Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said the measure had to be approved twice to become official.

The Town Board also voted to approve a cable-enabling ordinance that will make it easier for it to negotiate a new cable franchise agreement.

The town's current 10-year cable franchise agreement with Time Warner will expire in May. McDuffie said a new contract probably would not be finished in time. If that happens, he said, the current agreement would continue month-by-month.

McDuffie said the franchise agreement is not exclusive and any other company that wants an agreement will have to "play by the rules" of the enabling ordinance. But he admitted that towns have very little leverage in cable negotiations.

McDuffie said only person has commented to him about the cable offerings in Fremont. The comment was favorable. No one spoke during a public hearing on the subject.