Q: Where can I find more information about local programming – public access television?
A: Southwest Community Television (SWTV) – Southwest Community Television manages public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels available to cable television subscribers in Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minnesota and Richfield, Minnesota (member cities). For more information please contact Dan Carpenter, Community Television Administrator, at 952-826-0344 or DCarpenter@EdinaMN.gov or click here.
The Community Television Administrator and the City of Edina coordinate the playback of public access programming for the member cities as well as the government programming for the cities of Edina and Eden Prairie. Programming for the educational channel is produced by the six school districts in the SWSCC’s service area. Programming for the government channel in the cities of Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield is handled by each city, respectively.
Q: Are Cable TV rates regulated?
A: Under federal law and FCC regulations, the member cities and the SWSCC no longer have authority to regulate cable rates. The FCC believes that competition from satellite providers and other competitors have resulted in “effective competition” and therefore rate regulations previously available to local governmental authorities are no longer available. FCC regulations, however, require that consumers receive notice from cable operators whenever rates are raised.
Q: What is a Franchise Fee?
A: Cable television franchises require cable operators to pay for the use of the public rights-of-way through franchise fees. The franchise fee is set at 5% of the cable operator’s gross revenues, as defined in each cable television franchise. The payment is intended to be the reasonable rental rate for use of the rights-of-way by the cable operator for the placement of the cable operator’s wires and facilities.
Q: What is a PEG Fee?
A: Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) Access programming is supported by the PEG Fee that is assessed to each cable operator. Federal law allows the cable operators to pass on these fees to subscribers.
Q: Do the member cities decide which cable channels are available in each city?
A: Only your cable operator can decide which channels it will carry. The member cities have no legal authority to determine which channels are available or the content to be cablecast on any given commercial channel.
Q: Why can’t the member cities and the SWSCC assist subscribers with complaints about cable modem internet service?
A: In 2003, the FCC made a declaratory ruling that reclassified internet over cable (broadband) as an information, not video, service. As the member cities only have authority over cable (video) service, this decision removed jurisdiction over cable modems from the local franchise authority. In addition, the decision eliminated the payment of franchise fees for cable modem service. As the FCC now has jurisdiction over cable modem service, all complaints regarding this service should be addressed to the FCC.
Q: Do I have a choice of cable providers?
A: Each member city issues non-exclusive cable television franchises for cable service. Currently, CenturyLink and Comcast each hold a non-exclusive cable television franchise granted by each member city. Therefore residents of the member cities have two (2) wired cable choices – CenturyLink and Comcast. In addition, residents can obtain cable programming from satellite providers, such as Direct TV and DISH Network, as well as internet based providers such as Hulu, Netflix, HBOGo and many others.
Q: Where can I find the cable television franchises for CenturyLink and Comcast?
A: Click here.
Q: When do the cable television franchises expire?
A: The CenturyLink franchises granted by each member city expire in 2021 – with a city option for extension.
The Comcast franchises granted by each member city expire in 2022.
Q: How do I resolve an issue with my cable operator?
A: If you have an issue with Comcast start by calling Comcast at 1-800-XFINITY or (651) 222-3333 to speak directly with a customer service representative regarding your concern.
If you have an issue with CenturyLink start by calling CenturyLink at (877) 837-5738 to speak directly with a customer service representative regarding your concern.
If you are unable to resolve your question or concern directly with Comcast or CenturyLink and you live in Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield, please contact your city hall.
City of Eden Prairie
City of Edina
City of Hopkins
City of Minnetonka
City of Richfield
(612) 861 – 9700
If you do not live in the above-mentioned cities, please call your city hall to identify your local franchising authority.