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Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Broadband Programs is to effectively manage the County's cable television and telecommunications franchise agreements and the Cable Special Revenue Fund to ensure that: broadband 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

The total approved FY20 Operating Budget for the Office of Broadband Programs is $16,372,005, an increase of $178,793 or 1.10 percent from the FY19 Approved Budget of $16,193,212. Personnel Costs comprise 26.15 percent of the budget for 13 full-time position(s) and no part-time position(s), and a total of 30.85 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 73.85 percent of the FY20 budget.

The FY20 Cable Television Communications Plan includes five elements:

  • the Office of Broadband Programs appropriation ($16,372,005);
  • transfers to the General Fund for indirect costs ($879,676);
  • transfers to Instructional Television (ITV) programs including Montgomery County Public Schools ($1,799,775) and Montgomery College ($1,764,321);
  • transfers to the County Capital Improvements Programs including FiberNet ($3,750,000) and ultraMontgomery ($680,000); and
  • a transfer to M-NCPPC for the Connected Parks initiative ($100,000).

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

County Priority Outcomes

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

  • Thriving Youth and Families
  • Easier Commutes
  • A Greener County
  • Effective, Sustainable Government
  • A Growing Economy

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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 FY19 estimates reflect funding based on the FY19 approved budget. The FY20 and FY21 figures are performance targets based on the FY20 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY21.

Accomplishments

  • Hosted first Broadband Summit to bring together building owners, property managers, broadband network service providers, and businesses to discuss how to improve access to robust and reliable high-speed broadband services in commercial buildings in the County.

  • Worked with County Council to enact legislation to enable streamlined deployment of small-cell installations in commercial and commercial/residential areas, where network capacity constraints are greatest.

  • Developed online Transmission Facility Coordinating Group (TFCG) application filing system, to improve public engagement and review of communications antenna mapping, applications, and recommendations.

  • Launched County Conduit Network to facilitate efficient use of scarce room in public rights-of-way to support underground installation of communications, reduce public disruptions from continuous construction, and speed access to broadband service in commercial buildings.

  • In partnership with Comcast, started a pilot project to extend broadband and cable services into the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve within the community of Sugarland Road. Construction began October 2018.
  • Received multiple awards from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and Telly Awards.
  • PEG channels provided live coverage of the 2018 Inauguration of the Montgomery County Executive and Montgomery County Council, the primary and general elections, and coverage of several candidate forums.
  • Increased live social media coverage of Executive and County Council events.
  • Launched Condado TV in December 2017 which aggregates Public, Education, and Government Spanish language programming.
  • Montgomery Community Media (MCM) held the second annual "EPIC Awards" (Excellence in Programming and Innovative Content) to recognize the creators of outstanding and innovative multimedia content distributed on broadcast and/or broadband platforms.

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Initiatives

  • Implement a marketing plan for the Public, Education, and Government (PEG) channels using the results of the viewership study, which was initiated to better understand viewing habits and preferences.
  • Launch additional HD channels with Comcast and RCN.
  • Develop marketing plan for FiberNet broadband services and fiber and conduit availability in Montgomery County.
  • Apply for Federal funding and continue to support public/private partnerships to bring broadband to undeserved areas of the County's Agricultural Reserve.
  • Support small-cell deployment in residential areas that reasonably balances meaningful public input into new deployments with the requirements of Federal and State law to enable provisions of new wireless communications services.
  • Expand Senior Planet Montgomery and other public/private partnerships to support more digital economy and digital inclusion training for older adults and affordable access to internet-connected devices.
  • Host business focused roundtables and events to improve access to robust and reliable high-speed broadband services in commercial buildings in the County.
  • Increase community engagement and social media outreach.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • The efficiencies from the creation of the Office of Broadband Programs include staff synergy in cable and franchise administration, FiberNet, ultraMontgomery, video creation, and social media marketing, as well as resource sharing and co-location of administrative support, all of which will further enhance the initiatives for countywide broadband governance, planning, related economic development efforts, digital equity, and community engagement.

Program Descriptions

  Cable Franchise Administration

The Office of Broadband Programs 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 staff for cable management and enforcement, including cable and broadband complaint investigation, cable inspection and facilities testing, and office...

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  Community Access to Cable

The Office Broadband Programs 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 for County residents....

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  County Cable Montgomery

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

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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 HotlineLive!,...

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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 PEG programming and media services to the Montgomery County community using current and emerging technologies. The PGB collaboratively works to expand...

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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 (HOC),...

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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
FY18
Budget
FY19
Estimate
FY19
Approved
FY20
%Chg
Bud/App
CABLE TELEVISION
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages2592793.003174111.00 3003141.00 3265049.002.9
Employee Benefits861515.00975473.00 931556.00 1016089.004.2
Cable Television Personnel Costs3454308.004149584.00 3934697.00 4281138.003.2
Operating Expenses10985189.0012043628.00 11982133.00 12090867.000.4
Cable Television Expenditures14439497.0016193212.00 15916830.00 16372005.001.1
PERSONNEL
Full-Time14.0014.00 14.00 13.00-7.1
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs32.5031.85 31.85 30.85-3.1
REVENUES
Franchise Fees16999371.0017867623.00 16631000.00 16235000.00-9.1
Gaithersburg PEG Contribution158996.00165301.00 151000.00 144000.00-12.9
Investment Income125012.00106720.00 107000.00 263000.00146.4
PEG Capital Revenue6272943.006644000.00 6018000.00 5932000.00-10.7
PEG Operating Revenue3967041.004013296.00 3946000.00 3848000.00-4.1
Tower Application Fees139000.00150000.00 150000.00 150000.000.0
Cable Television Revenues27662363.0028946940.00 27003000.00 26572000.00-8.2
FY20 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
CABLE TELEVISION
FY19 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION1619321231.85
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: Franchise fee negotiation preparation including a technical assessment of infrastructure, fee audit, needs assessment, and outside professional services (legal) [Cable Franchise Administration]2050000.00
Enhance: Outside Professional Services (Legal) to address FCC initiatives and Federal litigation [Cable Franchise Administration]1700000.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: Restore One-Time Lapse Increase1350080.00
Increase Cost: FY20 Compensation Adjustment1152220.00
Increase Cost: Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network equipment maintenance [FiberNet]700000.00
Increase Cost: Community Access Labor Costs and Benefit Increase [Community Access to Cable]696970.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY19 Personnel Costs659650.00
Increase Cost: Community Access Facility Rent and Utility Increase [Community Access to Cable]333220.00
Increase Cost: Passive Optical Network (PON) maintenance in facilities shared by County Agencies300000.00
Increase Cost: PEG Operating - Warranties and Maintenance Contracts200000.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment96440.00
Decrease Cost: Operating Expenses [Community Access to Cable]-110000.00
Decrease Cost: Lapse one Sr. IT Specialist (six months) [FiberNet]-584850.00
Decrease Cost: Abolish one Manager II (Cable Administrator) [Cable Franchise Administration]-135800-1.00
Decrease Cost: Operating Expenses [FiberNet]-2546350.00
Decrease Cost: Municipal Pass Throughs including Capital Support, Franchise Fee Distribution, and PEG Operating Support [Municipal Support]-2851450.00
FY20 APPROVED1637200530.85
Program Summary
Program NameFY19 APPR
Expenditures
FY19 APPR
FTEs
FY20 APPR
Expenditures
FY20 APPR
FTEs
Cable Franchise Administration14749858.5020621858.50
Community Access to Cable26439110.0027359300.00
County Cable Montgomery270194116.60292817217.60
Cable Programming for Public Schools00.0000.00
Cable Programming for Montgomery College00.0000.00
Municipal Support38487450.0035639000.00
Public Education Government Access (PEG) Operations12631490.0013031490.00
FiberNet42604816.7537786694.75
Total1619321231.851637200530.85
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY20FY21FY22FY23FY24FY25
CABLE TELEVISION
EXPENDITURES
FY20 Approved16372.00000016372.00000016372.00000016372.00000016372.00000016372.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Restore One-Time Lapse Increase0.00000058.00000058.00000058.00000058.00000058.000000
Restoration of one-time lapse adjustment in the budget development year
Labor Contracts0.00000050.00000050.00000050.00000050.00000050.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures16372.00000016480.00000016480.00000016480.00000016480.00000016480.000000