Rochester’s Charter cable renewal raises questions

Commenters point out that the notion of a “non-exclusive” franchise mentioned below is a bit Orwellian.  How realistic is it for Charter competitor to enter the Rochester market?

“Rochester’s non-exclusive franchise agreement with Charter Communications to provide cable TV service in the city remains in effect despite the company’s declaration of bankruptcy in March.

The city council voted 7-0 on Monday to continue its arrangement with Charter, which has five years to go under a 15-year franchise agreement with the city.

The company is reorganizing following the bankruptcy declaration. The city’s decision has no implications for local channel offerings, public access or franchise fees, said City Attorney Terry Adkins.

A common misapprehension regarding Rochester’s single cable company is that it is a monopoly with exclusive rights in this market. Not true, Adkins said. Federal law would prohibit that sort of arrangement. Any competitor can offer cable service here.

“As long as they can meet the qualifications by being able to provide the service, we must allow them,” Adkins said.”

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