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New cable franchise agreements with Comcast, CenturyLink approved

New agreement would provide customers with two options for cable service

West Linn viewers may soon have two options for cable television.

On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve two new, non-exclusive franchise agreements with the Comcast and CenturyLink cable companies, negotiated through the city’s membership with the Metropolitan Area Communications Commission.

The new agreements mark the end of a negotiation process that lasted nearly a decade. West Linn’s previous franchise agreement with Comcast expired in 2007, and the city has been operating on a month-to-month agreement since that time.

“For this city, this has literally been going on since I arrived,” City Manager Chris Jordan said at an Aug. 3 Council meeting.

MACC manages five cable television franchises for 15 jurisdictions in Washington and Clackamas counties. For its members, MACC negotiates, manages and enforces cable franchise agreements. MACC also manages the PGE access facilities supported by its members.

West Linn joined the MACC in 2012. Other members include Lake Oswego, North Plains, Tigard and Washington County.

Though West Linn approved the new franchise agreements Monday, all five member city/counties must vote before the agreements take effect.

Under the new agreement, Comcast and CenturyLink will pay quarterly franchise fees to MACC members in the amount of 5 percent of gross revenue. Comcast’s new deal is for 10 years, while CenturyLink is limited to five years with incentives added that could extend the agreement to 10 years.

Known more for its voice and broadband services, CenturyLink under this new franchise agreement would be offering a new cable television service called PRISM.

CenturyLink currently provides telephone service in West Linn, as well.

“The two franchises are very similar,” MACC representative Fred Crist said at the Aug. 3 Council meeting. “We worked very hard to get a level playing field.”

A new agreement would be a welcome development for the city from a financial standpoint. Jordan, for his part, estimated that in the eight years since West Linn’s last agreement expired, the city has forgone between $600,000 and $1 million in potential franchise revenue.

Patrick Malee can be contacted at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..