Colorado Springs City Council is considering raising the rate they charge Comcast as part of a cable franchise renewal agreement with the company.
If passed, the move would mean customers would likely see a slight increase on their bills.
Councilman Bill Murray says all communities charge cable companies for right of way land use, and Colorado Springs charges less than most.
"In this particular case, historically we've undercharged to assist the process in making sure that we get better quality and quantity of services from the folks who use this particular property," Murray says.
According to Comcast, the communities surrounding Colorado Springs all charge the company a 5% franchise fee on their video services. Colorado Springs currently charges 3.5%.
Murray says council is discussing using the extra money for expanding special access channels for city use and for building a 3-1-1 helpline for city services. The 3-1-1 line could provide information on zoning laws, drivers' and marriage licenses, and infrastructure problems among other governmental issues.
Pikes Peak United Way operates the 2-1-1 helpline, which directs people to resources in health and social services. CEO Jason Wood says he would welcome the addition of another helpline in the city for other types of concerns.
"I personally see it as a way for the city to engage with citizens in a much easier manner, and I applaud them for doing this."
Wood says helplines can also provide information that can aid in identifying broader community concerns.
Members of the community are invited share input at two City Council public hearings on January 19th at 5:30pm and January 31st at 1pm. Opinions may also be emailed to email@example.com. More information can be found here.
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