Budget Year / Version:

Program Description

  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 operating expenses. Funds are used for engineering consulting services which require special expertise, such as engineering review of tower and antenna siting applications; IP-based interconnection of Public, Educational, and Government access (PEG) video signals and facilities; transmission facility digital and engineering upgrades; and the implementation of future technology and mobile video applications. Funds are also used to pay legal and financial consultants for work which requires special expertise, such as preparation of filings on behalf of the County before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), analysis of legislative proposals, County representation in cable and telecommunications service negotiations, and rate regulation and franchise compliance matters.

The responsibilities associated with franchise administration include:
• Ensuring cable operator compliance with franchise financial, technical, and construction requirements and managing the cable franchise renewal and transfer process;
• Investigating and resolving cable and broadband subscriber and residential complaints;
• Collecting and administering franchise fees, grants, and other payments to the County and participating municipalities;
• Encouraging entry of competitive providers of telecommunications services and negotiating and reviewing proposed telecommunications franchises for use of the public rights-of-way;
• Directing and coordinating the Transmission Facilities Coordinating Committee;
• Supporting the Cable and Communications Advisory Committee and Cable Compliance Commission;
• Strategic planning for County Government cable and communications technology;
• Preparing the annual Cable Communications Plan; and
• Monitoring and working with the Office of Intergovernmental Relations to advocate for effective and reasonable State and Federal cable, broadband and telecommunications regulations and legislation.

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.


Program Performance Measures

Program Performance MeasuresActual FY17Actual FY18Estimated FY19Target FY20Target FY21
Transmission facilities application process - Average number of days to process applications for siting wireless towers3534353535
Number of transmission facility applications processed422242300350350
Percent of customers satisfied with Cable Office complaint handling94.294.3949494

Program Budget Changes

FY20 Approved ChangesExpendituresFTEs
FY19 Approved14749858.50
Add: Franchise fee negotiation preparation including a technical assessment of infrastructure, fee audit, needs assessment, and outside professional services (legal)2050000.00
Enhance: Outside Professional Services (Legal) to address FCC initiatives and Federal litigation1700000.00
Decrease Cost: Abolish one Manager II (Cable Administrator)-135800-1.00
Multi-program adjustments, including negotiated compensation changes, employee benefit changes, changes due to staff turnover, reorganizations, and other budget changes affecting multiple programs.3480001.00
FY20 Approved20621858.50