City of Amesbury Renews Comcast Cable License, Negotiating New Benefits Over the 10-Year Term

comcast license update

The City of Amesbury renewed Comcast Cable Communications Management’s license in July, and negotiated changes under the new license which will benefit the City throughout the term of the non-exclusive renewal, which runs from July 1, 2021 to midnight on June 30, 2031.

The major changes include:

  • The franchise fee for Public, Educational and Governmental Access Channel (PEG) funding increased from 4.25% to 5.00% of Gross Annual Revenues, which is the limit allowed under FCC rules. This should equate to roughly $50,000 more per year, or $500,000 over the term.
  • Increase in capital funding for PEG access increased to $250,000 over the term.
  • By July 2023, one of the PEG Access Channels can be made available in High Definition.

Franchise fees are collected through Comcast bills, and must be used for the express purpose of improving Public Access TV and equipment in order for the community to better access and participate in public government and education.

Mayor Kassandra Gove said of the renewal, “Thank you to our cable TV team from both the municipal and school sides of government, for re-negotiating our Comcast license to include more PEG funds for Amesbury. These funds allow us to provide better access to government meetings and allow for easier participation from residents, and as an alternate funding source, doesn’t impact our budget."

In 2020, PEG funding was used to update the Audio/Visual equipment in the City Hall Auditorium. Working with Amesbury Community Television, the City was able to bring in a 13’ projector screen, an 8,000 lumen laser projector, monitors for the committee table, and ClickShare software to connect a laptop wirelessly to the projector. This equipment is utilized to better showcase documents, maps and plans during public meetings like City Council, Planning Board and the Conservation Commission.

"I’m grateful for our strong partnership with Amesbury Community Television, who throughout the pandemic made it possible for City boards and committees to continue their important work for our community virtually, having meetings broadcast on local access television and social media," stated Mayor Gove. 

View the complete license renewal here.