Comcast Franchise Information

Effective 6/13/09 all broadcast television stations in the US completed a Federally mandated Digital Transition:
All full power broadcast television stations (those who use public airwaves to transmit programming via antenna) changed their signal from an analog format to a digital format to free airwaves for emergency responders and expanded picture/sound quality and interactive services.  This change allowed the universal transmission of a new digital format (high definition picture and sound). In order to receive this signal, you need a high-definition television that has a special tuner and a high-definition antenna to receive the signal through public airwaves OR connection to a provider who will transmit this signal (e.g. cable company, satellite company, telecommunications company (e.g. AT&T, Verizon) through their receiver/tuners).  For additional information, visit www.dtv.gov.

Important Note About the Comcast Franchise Agreement

Regarding the misconception that Comcast is a monopoly in our area, or that cable competition is somehow being blocked to our area:

The BACB has a non-exclusive contract with Comcast, meaning that any other wire-line video content provider (cable or telephone) may do business in our area, provided that they have signed a local franchise agreement with the BACB. AT&T is an additional entrant under PA 480 with Uverse IPTV.  Public Act 480 was enacted in 2006 to create a uniform franchising agreement that is to be used between each franchising entity and video provider in the State of Michigan. Click here to visit the Michigan Public Service Commission website.

In addition, WOW is the newest entrant under PA 480 with service in Birmingham and Beverly Hills. Ever since WOW first began providing service, the BACB has encouraged WOW to expand its service to all the communities in our area. WOW has graciously declined stating that they are concentrating on the footprint they currently service. We continue to keep the dialogue open. Our individual communities are responsible for negotiating franchise agreements directly with any new entrants. The BACB will administer as directed by the Interlocal Agreement.

Based upon industry facts and observations, their unstated reasoning may include the following:

Huge start-up capital (technology, labor, marketing) is required to build a video delivery system to all community members.

Geographically, many homes throughout our area are not tightly located together (as may be found in Royal Oak for example). This creates an above-average deployment cost for newcomers to consider.

The Rouge River Watershed cuts a path through our designated area, further increasing the cost to deploy a new telecommunication system.

Wide Open West may be content with investment and refinement of services where they currently operate and receive top rankings in industry publications.

printer-friendly Comcast Franchise Agreement (13MB)

printer-friendly Our Communication with WOW