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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 18

Meeting Date: August 12, 2003

Subject/Title: Approve a Resolution Making a Preliminary Assessment Not to Renew the Cable Television Franchise Held by Comcast of California IV, Inc. and Setting a Date for an Administrative Proceeding.

Submitted By: Dennis Beougher, City Attorney
____________________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATION
Approve a resolution making a preliminary assessment that the cable television franchise held by Comcast of California IV, Inc. (“Comcast”) should not be renewed and setting the date of Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. for an administrative proceeding to establish whether Comcast has met the renewal standards of section 626 of the Cable Act (47 U.S.C. sec. 546 (c) (1)).

PREVIOUS ACTION
On November 26, 2002, City Council adopted “Renewal Negotiation Process Terms” for undertaking informal negotiation of the renewal of the cable television franchise formerly held by AT&T Broadband and now held by Comcast of California IV, Inc. (“Comcast”). Those terms included the tolling of the time requirements for “formal” renewal proceedings under Section 626 of the Cable Act to March 1, 2003. They also included the extension of the deadline for Comcast to respond to the City’s Request for Proposal dated September 4, 2002, to March 20, if informal negotiations had not resulted in an agreement by March 1, 2003. On February 25, 2003, the City Council extended the deadline for response to the City’s Request for Proposal from March 20, 2003 to April 22, 2003. On March 25, 2003, the City Council extended the deadline from April 22, 2003 to June 20, 2003. On May 27, 2003, the City Council extended the deadline from June 20 to July 21, 2003. On July 8, 2003, the City Council refused to change the deadline of July 21, 2003, for Comcast’s response to the City’s Request for Proposal.

BACKGROUND
The Telecommunications Subcommittee of the City Council has conducted informal negotiations with representatives of Comcast pursuant to the “Renewal Negotiation Process Terms.” On July 3, 2003, the Subcommittee gave Comcast a deadline of July 8, 2003, to approve the final draft negotiated by the Subcommittee, including specifically the system capacity requirement of 860 MHz, which Comcast’s headquarters office had proposed to reduce to 750 MHz. After verbal assurance to the City’s Telecommunications Consultant, David Kinley, that Comcast would present such acceptance at the July 8 meeting of the City Council, no communication was received from Comcast at that meeting. As a result, the City Council refused to change the deadline of July 21 for Comcast’s formal renewal proposal. At the City Council meeting of July 22, a Comcast representative presented a letter signed by an “Area Vice President” agreeing to the 860 MHz requirement. The City Council then adopted a motion to have the Telecommunications Subcommittee begin the formal process of denying the franchise renewal. On July 24, the City received via facsimile from Comcast the draft franchise agreement, previously negotiated with the Telecommunications Subcommittee, as “our formal response to the City’s request for responsive proposals.”

FISCAL IMPACT
None.

Attachment:
Resolution

RESOLUTION NO.


A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL MAKING A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT NOT TO RENEW THE CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE HELD BY COMCAST OF CALIFORNIA IV, INC. (“COMCAST”) AND SETTING A DATE FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING.

WHEREAS, on September 4, 2002, the City of Brentwood issued to Comcast a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) with a deadline of October 28, 2002 for submission of a formal proposal pursuant to section 626 of the federal Cable Act; and

WHEREAS, after several other extensions of the deadline in said RFP, on May 27, 2003, the City Council extended that deadline to July 21, 2003; and

WHEREAS, no proposal was submitted by Comcast by that deadline;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council hereby issues a preliminary assessment that the cable television franchise held by Comcast should not be renewed.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council will hold a formal administrative proceeding on Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. ,in the City Council Chambers to determine whether or not Comcast has met the renewal standards of section 626 of the federal Cable Act (47 U.S.C. sec. 546 (c) (1)).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said administrative proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of section 626 for such proceedings.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the 12th day of August 2003, by the following vote:


 

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