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City View Newsletter article "Set Your Dial to Woodinville TV"

Ordinance No. 405: Cable TV Franchise Agreement -Extension (Comcast)

Ordinance 191: 5 Year Cable TV Franchise Agreement (TCI)

Staff Report to City Council RE: Cable & Web casting program (2/6/06)

Federal Communications Commission

Washington Association of Telecommunications Advisors & Officers (WATOA)

National Association of Telecommunications Advisors & Officers (NATOA)

Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission (WUTC)

Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC)

Association of Washington Cities (AWC)

Alliance for Community Television

Woodinville Television (Comcast 21 / Frontier 41) Schedule

Background
In support of the City Council's longstanding goal to enhance communication with its citizens, in February 2006, the Council authorized the funding to purchase capital equipment for the creation of a Government Access Television Station in accordance with a cable TV franchise agreement between the City of Woodinville and Comcast. The authorization included the webcast (video streaming) and broadcast of City Council meetings. With the Council's authorization and the equipment in place to provide programming for the channel, the City launched its Government Access Channel in 2007.

Additionally, in March 2008, the City Council took action to broadcast and webcast all Planning Commission meetings and Parks and Recreation Commission meetings on Woodinville's television channel and the City's website.

The City has franchise agreements with two cable providers: Comcast and Frontier. As part of the franchise agreements, the Woodinville Television Channel is broadcast by both providers. Residents, who subscribe to Comcast can view the Woodinville Television Channel on channel 21. Residents who subscribe to Frontier Cable can view the Woodinville Television Channel on channel 41. The City sends the same content to both Comcast and Frontier, including City and community information and "live to tape" broadcasts of City Council meetings and Commission meetings.

Franchise Agreements
The Cable Communications Policy Act of l984, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of l992, and the Telecommunications Act of l996, all codified in Title 47 of the United States Code, authorized local governments to grant franchises for the provision of cable television service within their corporate boundaries. The Cable Act presumes that local governments will renew franchise agreements with the local cable operator.

Franchise agreements are negotiated on behalf of the citizens in a community to provide for the delivery of basic services such as water, electricity, waste management, phone and cable services. Developing and maintaining the infrastructure required to deliver the service can affect the City's right-of-way, street system, urban forest, economic development, capital facility improvements, and quality of life. As owners of the public right-of-way, the City is responsible for managing access and use for the public benefit. The Franchise Agreement is the vehicle cities use to manage the use of the public right-of-way.

The City, in Ordinance No. 191, granted a five (5) year franchise for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a cable television system to TCI, Inc. (then Vista and now Comcast) which was effective on November 22, 1997. In 2002, under the terms of the Franchise, the City and Comcast agreed to extend the Franchise for five (5) years. Via Ordinance No. 405, the franchise agreement was extended to from November 2005 to August 2009.

In August 2008, the City granted its first Franchise Agreement with Frontier via Ordinance No. 467. This franchise agreement authorized Frontier to maintain and operate a cable television system within the City of Woodinville .

The City of Woodinville 's government access channel is established through cable television franchise agreements between the City and local cable providers.

The City receives annual franchise fees for the right of the franchise to access the City's right-of-way. These fees can fund equipment and/or personnel. Another source of funding for capital investments is City's ability to instate a monthly subscriber fee in an amount not to exceed $1 per subscriber.

On February 6, 2006, the Woodinville City Council approved the planning and implementation of cablecasting and webcasting at the following levels of service:
1. Cablecasting: Text Generation (Bulletin Board) for Government Access Television programming to be viewed by Comcast cable TV subscribers on Channel 21.
2. Webcasting: Broadcasting a digital recording of City Council meetings on the City's website and Television Channel. In March of 2008, the City Council approved broadcasting a digital recording of the Planning Commission meetings and Parks and Recreation Commission meetings on the City's website and television channel.
Additionally, the City Council authorized the reinstatement of a monthly subscriber fee in 2007 to sustain the equipment purchase, replacement, and repair necessary for the government access channel. For 2007, the subscriber fee of $.34 was instated for the 3,175 Comcast subscribers in the City of Woodinville .

Woodinville Television Operations
Woodinville Television (WTV) is an operational function of the Community Relations Division of the Executive Department. The Assistant to the City Manager is responsible for the management, operation, and budget of WTV and is the primary Station Manager. The Station Manager oversees the Cable TV Operations Specialist and other WTV staff who are responsible for the development, programming, and maintenance of the cable and video functions of the City.

Jennifer Kuhn, City Clerk
Mailing Address: City of Woodinville , 17301-133rd Avenue NE , Woodinville , WA 98072
Phone: 425.877.2262

 


Page last modified: October 5, 2015

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