„This package exceeds the value of franchises negotiated in recent years with cities like Seattle,” Mattmiller said. Comcast, which has accepted several other commitments beyond the franchise agreement, said the city will receive nearly $500 million in benefits. „Philadelphia has produced the protection of the rights of the individual and we hope that this franchise will usline a new revolution that will add affordable Internet access to the rights we enjoy as citizens,” Henon said in a statement. With your help, Comcast has agreed to a franchise agreement with the city that offers greater benefits to Philadelphians than elsewhere. Recognizing that Comcasts supported growth through city and state tax breaks, he created programs that did not exist elsewhere. Here`s a list of highlights of what Comcast agreed after so many of you came to auditions, talked to your board members and asked Comcast to offer the best franchise deal in the country to Philadelphia. Every 15 years, the city renegotiates a franchise agreement that gives Comcast access to the city`s „law and street rights” to offer its cable service. In return, the city asks for some donations from the community. Now, after nearly two years of fact-finding, public hearings and negotiations, the city has finally secured a new 15-year cable franchise with Comcast, which contains financial and important channel quality guarantees for the city`s public and government television channels (PEG). Mayor Michael Nutter hailed the agreement as an improvement on the previous agreement. The proposed franchise agreement „has no impact on our broadband plans,” Mattmiller added. Funding for public education and government channels has been increased from 8 million euros to 21.3 million euros. While PhillyCAM did not get what it wanted, there is hope that PhillyCAM could get additional funding to make up for the difference if the Verizon franchise is renewed.
The Commission should be aware that Comcast has announced several separate additional commitments to the renewal of cable television: there should be little doubt that many of these agreements have been concluded because citizens and activists, such as the Media Mobilizing Project, have made their voices heard. Thank you all for making the franchise contract better than it would have been. To see how good it is, read this article from Philadelphia Magazine and this one from a newspaper in Seattle, Washington, where your mayor and council say they want to make a deal as good as ours! Comcast also announced several additional commitments beyond the agreement, including hiring 150 to 200 residents in Philadelphia to customize a virtual care worker program to increase customer service. „Comcast believes that the current agreement, as approved by the Public Safety, Citizens` Rights and Technology Committee, offers consumers many benefits that meet and exceed those offered by our Seattle competitors. We respect the city`s desire to discuss different alternatives, and we are open to further dialogue. Comcast will also provide $21.3 million to fund 11 public, educational and government (PEG) channels, more than doubling the $8 million provided in the last agreement.