Still No Franchise Agreement Between Lexington and TWC
Changing cable TV providers usually isn’t pleasant. But it could be happening again in Lexington.
It’s a very complex process and it could end up as a federal case.
For starters though, cable customers don’t have to do anything. This is strictly between the local government and Time Warner Cable as they work to negotiate a new contract.
It was 2012 when Lexington’s cable franchise agreement expired with Time Warner–that’s a franchise agreement meaning, local government allows TWC to operate within its boundaries.
So since 2012, there hasn’t been an agreement.
"There are several places in the franchise agreement where we have asked for certain things for our citizens, the customers of Time Warner Cable and TWC has not been willing to include those,” said Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.
Gorton said things like customer service hours and public access TV stations.
Public comments were even taken. One from a December 2012 meeting sounded like this: "I think part of the problem is that Time Warner has come in and done what they can do to save money."
For the record, a Time Warner Cable spokesperson said the company continues to negotiate with the city and hopes to reach a new franchise agreement.
As result of that public comment session though, Gorton said the city is moving to deny the transfer of services from TWC to Comcast. Gorton said due to monopolization laws, Comcast must "spin off" some of its customers to other carriers. In Lexington that would be Charter.
However, if no negotiations are met and no franchise agreement is signed, Gorton said a federal court case would be the next step.
"We are hopeful that between tonight’s first reading and the second reading that Time Warner Cable would be willing to come back and sit down with us at the table for more negotiations,” said Gorton.
The cut-off for a new agreement between the city and Time Warner is November 14th. Both sides said they hope to reach common grounds before then.
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