Metro Council approves resolution of consent to transfer of control of cable franchise from Time Warner to Charter
Louisville – By a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council has approved a resolution of consent to transfer of control of a cable franchise from Time Warner Cable to Charter. The resolution asks Charter to retain jobs and offer a smooth subscriber transition over the next two years when the sale between the two media companies is finalized.
The resolution asks Charter, as the new franchisee, to maintain 2500 employees currently located in the Metro Louisville. Of those employees, 1400 are with Time Warner and 1100 are with Charter which operates a call center and a national operations center in Metro Louisville.
“We want to ensure these jobs stay in Metro Louisville. The Council also wanted to look out for consumers and our constituents. Anytime a new cable company takes over, there is always concern about pricing and service. We believe this resolution will go a long way in making for a smooth transition as Charter gets to know Metro Louisville’s cable subscribers,” said Councilman David James (D-6).”
“We amended our resolution to memorialize the promises and representations made by Charter as an inducement for our vote. As part of that, we required them to agree to provide free set top boxes to their subscribers if the subscriber is impacted by Charter’s decision to encrypt their signal in our market. The free boxes will be provided for at least two years and possibly longer if Charter and Metro Louisville do not execute a new franchise agreement in the next two years,” said President Jim King (D-10).
As it does in other cities, Charter plans to encrypt its programming by requiring a digital box for consumers to use to protect its signal. The company does a similar practice in other cities it serves. Many other media outlets, such as satellite TV, use a similar digital box.
Per the resolution, Charter will follow a schedule of transition for Digital Box Offerings over the next two years. The company has committed to provide the following:
- Customers will receive digital boxes free for one, two or five years, depending on level of service.
- Customers with Limited Basic service will receive two free boxes for two years.
- Limited Basic customers on Medicaid will receive two free boxes for up to five years.
- Expanded Basic customers receive two free boxes for one year.
- Premium Tier customers may receive one free box for one year.
- Cable cards are available for $2.00/mo and can alleviate the need for a box rental from Charter or the customer could purchase their own box.
- Customers in MDU's (high-density buildings) often receive a free box as part of their building's contract with the cable television provider.
“We want to thank the Metro Council for this vote. We look forward to working with Louisville Metro Government and serving the people of this community,” said Brian Gregory of Charter. “We see a good working relationship in a city we are already familiar with and we look forward to the future and the service we will provide.”