Posted by Eric Horvath on March 26, 2015 at 1:51 PM
The below statement from Councilman Henon is in response to a resolution introduced to hold joint hearings on the upcoming needs assessment and renewal of Comcast's 15-year franchise agreement.
"Philadelphia will soon begin negotiations with Comcast for renewal of Comcast’s current 15-year cable television franchise, which expires in 2015.
That process begins when the city releases a 'needs and interests assessment' of Comcast's cable service, followed by a handful of public meetings to discuss its findings. The public deserves the opportunity for full, deliberate discussion on the needs assessment.
Today, I was joined by Councilwomen Blackwell, Quiñones-Sanchez and Reynolds Brown along with Councilman Goode to introduce a resolution calling for hearings on the needs assessment. This will give the public additional opportunities to provide feedback in both the Committee on Public Property & Public Works and Committee on Technology & Information Services, chaired by Councilman O'Neill.
The world today is much different today than it was 15 years ago. Now, the world economy is driven by internet access while too many in our low-income communities remain disconnected. The possibility of expanding broadband access while securing much-needed benefit for the school district, recreation centers and other public spaces are within our reach with this agreement.
Even Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen has called broadband access and closing the digital divide the 'civil rights issue of our time.'
Sign up to keep posted on the hearings here. We've heard plenty from Comcast. Now it's time that Philadelphians have their say."