Metro Council to take up cable franchise transfer to Charter on - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council to take up cable franchise transfer to Charter on Thursday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The Louisville Metro Council is expected to vote tonight on transferring the Metro government’s cable TV franchise agreement from Time Warner Cable to Charter Communications.

Charter announced earlier this year that it would buy Time Warner Cable after the Comcast’s effort to purchase TWC fell apart. The $79 billion deal is pending regulatory approval.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration and Charter have agreed to several non-binding “commitments” as a condition of the transfer, including:

  • Maintaining about 2,600 jobs between Time Warner Cable and Charter’s current call and network operations centers in Louisville
  • Boosting the base Internet download speed from the current 15 megabits per second under Time Warner Cable to Charter’s 60 Mbps
  • Offering a “low-cost broadband program for certain low-income qualifying consumers”. The proposed agreement does not include details on that program
  • Providing free wifi at city-owned community centers
  • Continuing a long-standing $50,000 per year payment to Metro government for public, educational and governmental programming
  • Providing a 1 Gbps, or “gigabit”, connection in one apartment building within the Urban Services District (old City of Louisville) as a “demonstration project.” Google Fiber is looking at bringing gigabit speeds to homes throughout Louisville, as Fischer announced last month.

The full agreement is here.

The Metro Council’s Public Works committee approved the transfer last week, though council members Cindy Fowler, Marianne Butler and Dan Johnson voted “present” to voice their concern over South Louisville community centers not being included on a short list of facilities scheduled to get Internet connections from Charter.

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