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Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Cable and Broadband Services is to effectively manage the County's cable television and telecommunications franchise agreements and the Cable Special Revenue Fund to ensure that: cable services in Montgomery County are of high quality; cable and telecommunications providers comply with applicable safety and construction codes; cable customer service requirements and applicable consumer protection provisions are enforced; quality Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) cable programming is provided; FiberNet is expanded and operated to provide reliable voice, data, video and public safety communications to County government agencies; and a reliable and expedient process is provided for telecommunication carriers to establish transmission facilities in the County to speed deployment of services for residents while maintaining adequate public protection.

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Budget Overview

For FY19, the Cable Communications Plan consists of three elements: the Cable and Broadband Office appropriation ($16,193,212), transfers to the County General Fund ($10,126,335), and transfers to the County Capital Improvements Program ($4,520,000) for a total use of fund resources of $30,839,547. Within the Cable Office appropriation of $16,193,212, Personnel Costs comprise 25.6 percent of the budget for 14 full-time positions. A total of 31.85 FTEs includes these positions as well as any seasonal, temporary, and positions charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 74.4 percent of the FY19 budget.

In FY19, there are several transfers to the General Fund for the following:

Montgomery College (MC): Funds are transferred from the Cable Fund to the General Fund, and then to MC. In FY19, total transfers to MC are $1,726,867, representing an increase of $43,142 (or 2.6%) over the FY18 transfer of $1,683,725.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS): Funds are transferred from the Cable Fund to the General Fund, and then to MCPS. In FY19, total transfers to MCPS are $1,789,941 representing an increase of $92,437 (or 5.4%) over the FY18 transfer of $1,697,504.

Maryland - National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC): Funds are transferred from the Cable Fund to the General Fund, and then to M-NCPPC. In FY19, total transfers to M-NCPPC are $100,000, unchanged from the FY18 approved transfer.

Other: Funds are transferred from the Cable Fund to the General Fund to cover the cost of certain administrative services provided by the County to the Cable Fund ($761,527) and other contributions ($5,748,000).

In addition, this department's Capital Improvements Program (CIP) requires Current Revenue funding.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • Children Prepared to Live and Learn
  • An Effective and Efficient Transportation Network
  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government
  • Strong and Vibrant Economy
  • Vital Living for All of Our Residents

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Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY18 estimates reflect funding based on the FY18 approved budget. The FY19 and FY20 figures are performance targets based on the FY19 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY20.

Accomplishments

  • Launched High Definition (HD) channels on the Comcast and RCN networks.
  • Developed a Help Desk ticket system for County cable television inquiries.
  • Launched Checkspeedmontgomery.com, a tool to help the County better understand the quality, cost, and use of Internet service by residents and businesses.
  • Continued production of County Report This Week (CRTW), the award winning weekly half hour program produced collaboratively by members of the Public, Education, and Government (PEG) Governance Board. Topics include programs that impact County residents. CRTW airs on six PEG access channels, is available on demand and via mobile devices, as well on YouTube in English and Spanish.

  • Initiated Public, Education, and Government (PEG) viewership study.
  • Provided County Cable Montgomery (CCM) live coverage for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service.
  • Montgomery Community Media held the first annual Excellence in Programming and Innovative Content (EPIC) Awards to recognize and celebrate outstanding multimedia content on television and the Internet.

  • Received multiple Awards from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM); Government Programming Awards from the National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisors (NATOA); and Telly Awards.

  • Provided special social media live coverage for multiple County departments and events including the Office of Human Rights, County Council Sessions, and Town Hall meetings.
  • Developed an online interactive Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map of antenna and tower sites in Montgomery County that provide information to the public on the telecommunications infrastructure in the County.

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Initiatives

  • The approved budget includes $100,000 to continue funding the Connected Parks (previously WiFi in the Parks) initiative to bring internet connectivity to additional Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) facilities.
  • Developed an online Transmission Facility Coordinating Group (TFCG) application filing system creating a transparent process for residents to view applications as they are filed with Montgomery County and on Data Montgomery maps.

  • Exploring public/private partnerships with Comcast to bring broadband to underserved rural areas of the Agricultural Reserve (Sugarland Road Project) and to promote Internet Essentials program that benefits low-income families and seniors.

  • Developing electronic financial reporting system for Communication Tower applications.
  • Developing an inspection protocol for post inspection of Transmission Facility Coordinating Group (TFCG) small cell applications.
  • Developing antenna and tower review and administration process for new cellular technologies.
  • Investigating the feasibility of Community Engagement and Social Media outreach for County Council meetings.
  • Launching three additional High Definition (HD) channels with RCN network.
  • Developing a marketing plan for the Public, Education, and Government (PEG) channels using a viewership study which was initiated to better understand viewing habits and preferences for receiving information about the programming content.

Program Descriptions

  Cable Franchise Administration

The Office of Cable and Broadband Services in the Department of Technology Services is responsible for administering the cable television agreements for the County and participating municipalities. The budget for franchise administration includes funds for cable management and enforcement staff, including cable and broadband complaint investigation staff, cable inspection and...

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  Community Access to Cable

The Office of Cable and Broadband Services administers a contract with Montgomery Community Television, doing business as Montgomery Community Media (MCM), through which it operates two community media cable television channels and provides media technology training to County residents and community organizations. MCM produces independent, diverse and informative cable programming...

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  County Cable Montgomery

The Office of Cable and Broadband Services manages County Cable Montgomery (CCM), the government access channel. CCM programming includes live County Council general and committee meetings, press conferences, town hall meetings, special events, and programs highlighting County services and activities. Funding is provided to the Cable Office, County Council, Office...

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  Cable Programming for Public Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools Television (MCPS-TV) is a full-service television and multimedia facility that produces TV programs for students, staff, parents, and the general community; many of which are produced in multiple languages to reach the district's growing multicultural community. MCPS-TV regular programming includes Board of Education meetings, Homework...

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  Cable Programming for Montgomery College

The Instructional Television (ITV) and Media Production Services Unit of Montgomery College is responsible for creating cable programming available on the Montgomery College educational cable channel as well as video programming and learning materials available as on-line content. Funds are used for staff, equipment, and operating expenses to provide digital...

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  Municipal Support

Franchise and Public, Education, and Government (PEG) fees owed by cable operators to participating municipalities within Montgomery County are paid by cable operators to the County for administrative convenience and then redistributed by the County to the City of Rockville, the City of Takoma Park, and the Montgomery County Chapter...

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  Public Education Government Access (PEG) Operations

The mission of the Public, Education, and Government (PEG) Governance Board is to facilitate collaboration among the local television access operators in providing and promoting the most effective public access, educational and government programming and media services to the Montgomery County community using current and emerging technologies. PEG is collaboratively...

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  FiberNet

Funding from the Cable Special Revenue Fund is used to support Montgomery County's private communications network - FiberNet. FiberNet is a critical infrastructure asset that provides carrier class voice, video, Internet access and data network services for Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, Housing Opportunities Commission...

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Budget Trends
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Program Contacts

Contact Helen Ni of the Department of Technology Services at 240.777.2807 or Jennifer Nordin of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2779 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY17
Budget
FY18
Estimate
FY18
Approved
FY19
%Chg
Bud/App
CABLE TELEVISION
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages2776645.003182098.00 2850286.00 3174111.00-0.3
Employee Benefits946742.00986724.00 873185.00 975473.00-1.1
Cable Television Personnel Costs3723387.004168822.00 3723471.00 4149584.00-0.5
Operating Expenses11894630.0011902782.00 11902579.00 12043628.001.2
Cable Television Expenditures15618017.0016071604.00 15626050.00 16193212.000.8
PERSONNEL
Full-Time13.0014.00 14.00 14.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs31.5032.50 32.50 31.85-2.0
REVENUES
Franchise Fees18080040.0017986502.00 17992000.00 17867623.00-0.7
Gaithersburg PEG Contribution174643.00168304.00 169000.00 165301.00-1.8
Investment Income73147.0075330.00 75000.00 106720.0041.7
PEG Capital Revenue7559641.006673805.00 6711000.00 6644000.00-0.4
PEG Operating Revenue5410922.004157696.00 4160000.00 4013296.00-3.5
Tower Application Fees448000.00250000.00 250000.00 150000.00-40.0
Cable Television Revenues31746393.0029311637.00 29357000.00 28946940.00-1.2
FY19 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
CABLE TELEVISION
FY18 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION1607160432.50
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY19 Compensation Adjustment972360.00
Increase Cost: Dens Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network equipment maintenance [FiberNet]550000.00
Increase Cost: Passive Optical Network (PON) maintenance in facilities shared by County Agencies500000.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Personnel Costs487870.00
Increase Cost: Community Access Facility Rent Increase [Community Access to Cable]272760.00
Increase Cost: Community Access Facility Utility Cost Increase [Community Access to Cable]84710.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail990.00
Technical Adj: Reduction in FTE charges from County Council [Cable Franchise Administration]0-0.30
Technical Adj: Program Personnel Adjustment0-0.35
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-302530.00
Decrease Cost: Increased Lapse [Cable Franchise Administration]-1350080.00
FY19 APPROVED1619321231.85
Program Summary
Program NameFY18 APPR
Expenditures
FY18 APPR
FTEs
FY19 APPR
Expenditures
FY19 APPR
FTEs
Cable Franchise Administration17629398.9014749858.50
Community Access to Cable26081640.0026439110.00
County Cable Montgomery265247116.90270194116.60
Cable Programming for Public Schools00.0000.00
Cable Programming for Montgomery College00.0000.00
Municipal Support38190000.0038487450.00
Public Education Government Access (PEG) Operations12828940.0012631490.00
FiberNet39461366.7042604816.75
Total1607160432.501619321231.85
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY19FY20FY21FY22FY23FY24
CABLE TELEVISION
EXPENDITURES
FY19 Approved16193.00000016193.00000016193.00000016193.00000016193.00000016193.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Restore One-Time Lapse Increase0.000000135.000000135.000000135.000000135.000000135.000000
Restoration of one-time lapse adjustment in the budget development year
Labor Contracts0.00000056.00000056.00000056.00000056.00000056.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures16193.00000016384.00000016384.00000016384.00000016384.00000016384.000000