Cable Television Franchise Renewals and Transfers

CSG has assisted the following communities in assessing their cable television needs (sorted by date):

CITY OF ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA

Tracey Hause, Administrative Services Manager

Bill Kelly, City Manager

Steve Deitch, City Attorney

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

Since 1994, CSG has assisted the City in general franchise administrative duties and has provided the City with consultant services related to the renewal and transfer of the City's franchise with TCI Cablevision and several transfers of ownership involving Century and Adelphia Communications.  CSG completed a community needs assessment including public meetings and extensive interviews with City staff, comprehensive franchise performance audit, and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.  In addition, CSG assessed department needs related to municipal cable television services and managed the bidding and procurement of nearly $400,000 in television production equipment.  CSG also provided extensive rate regulation assistance to the City.  In 2001and 2003, CSG provided a variety of services related to Adelphia and the City’s competitive OVS company, Altrio Communications.  Since Altrio’s reorganization and dissolution, CSG has been actively involved in the City’s negotiations and FCC Form 394 review with Champion Communications, a potential successor franchisee. In 2005, CSG assisted the City in transferring ownership of the cable T.V. franchise.

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CITY OF BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA

Chris Mead, Office of Information Technology

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

During 2003, CSG performed a review of Comcast’s proposed cable television rates and made comparisons to rates charged in 11 other cities nation-wide.  From March 2002 to November 2003, CSG has performed a number of compliance related audits of AT&T as due diligence related to the AT&T-Comcast merger -- see link to City Council Report.  Tasks included technical department inspections, customer service audits, and audits of bonds, insurance, franchise fees and letters of credit.  In July 2000, CSG conducted a site survey and technical review of AT&T's cable plant to confirm completion of AT&T's 1999 rebuild in the City of Berkeley.  CSG's review included analysis of system demographics, service call and outage records, FCC proof of performance reports, sweep testing, and subjective observations.  CSG completed a survey of residential households.  Follow link to reports: Digital Divide Report Executive Summary Residential Survey; Rate Report. The workscope included meeting with City staff and task force to finalize ascertainment depth, survey administration, analysis and report of findings.  For a two-year period (1989-1990) CSG conducted a comprehensive test and technical evaluation of the Lenfest Cable system to determine the cable operator's level of franchise compliance, financial condition, and assessment of public, educational and municipal needs.  The results of CSG's needs analysis were used by the City during franchise renewal negotiations and served as a benchmark to shape the terms and conditions of a new cable television franchise.

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CITY OF INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA

Hilda Kennedy, Public Information Officer

Beginning in 2007, CSG has assisted the city in reviewing the Time Warner franchise agreement which will expire in 2012 for elements regarding PEG support as it pertains to state franchise applications.


CITY OF IRVINE, CALIFORNIA

Paul Boyer, IT Manager

Rick Paikoff, Budget Manager

Beginning in 2005, CSG has been studying public needs associated with a renewal with Cox Cable.  The project studied a concept to expand facilities and operations into an integrated multipurpose Media Center within the Orange County Great Park (OCGP).  The City contracted with Communications Support Group, Inc., (CSG) to perform research to identify and estimate cable television capital and operating expenses associated with a potential concept to develop a community media center located within the proposed OCGP.  Follow Link to Media Equipment Scenarios: Equipment List  This facility should also be considered as a backup emergency operations center (EOC) for the City.  We offer three variable and scalable capital improvement models based on three levels of ICTV Channel 30 operating assumptions. 

In 1993 and 1994, CSG monitored the cable operator's franchise compliance, provided support to the City's Cable Television Advisory Board, handled customer complaints, provided rate regulation assistance, and facilitated the City's use of cable technology.  In early 1993, CSG assisted the City in exploring potential competitors to Dimension Cable.  In 1994, CSG prepared a comprehensive ordinance for improved cable television customer service standards and assisted the City transfer of the cable television franchise to Cox Cable. 

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CITY OF LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Dean Smits, Video Communications Manager

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

For an ongoing period beginning in 2002, CSG has provided general administrative and regulatory consulting services to the City, including telecommunications and regulatory strategy development and franchise compliance review.  In 2003 CSG began assisting the City’s renewal process with Charter Communications, which included a technical compliance audit and an extensive financial due diligence review.  CSG has also conducted extensive research on “effective competition” on behalf of the City.

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CITY OF PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

(Lori Sandoval, Technical Planning Manager)

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

From 1998 to present, CSG has assisted the City in general franchise administrative duties, and has provided the City with consultant services related to the renewal of the City's franchise with Charter Communications, and granting of a competitive OVS franchise with Altrio Communications.  Along with extensive planning, fact-finding, and strategy development, CSG has provided the City with a community needs assessment, comprehensive franchise performance audit, and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.  Services have included a review of documents, evaluation of compliance, and recommendations for franchise renewal negotiations.  CSG has been serving as an expert witness in defending the City against litigation threatened by the City’s cable operator related to level playing field and commercial practicability claims.  .  Since Altrio’s reorganization and dissolution, CSG has been actively involved in the City’s negotiations and FCC Form 394 review with Champion Communications, a potential successor franchisee.

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PUBLIC CABLE TELEVISION AUTHORITY

Mary Morales, Former Executive Director

Marc Jaffe, Interim Executive Director

In 2004, CSG performed analysis related to the PCTA’s renewal with Time Warner.  This Joint Powers Authority serves the Cities of Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster.  During the course of this engagement, CSG led a strategic planning effort, developed PEG funding scenarios, conducted a rigorous residential survey and compiled a community needs assessment in preparation for negotiations with Time Warner.  In 2005, CSG provided further specification and modeling consideration for improvements to playback of programming in Huntington Beach.  CSC is currently under contract for special services in 2006.  Follow links to reports: Needs Report  and Council Meeting Power Point Presentation

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CITY OF PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Julia Lew, City Attorney

In 2006 and 2007, CSG assisted the City review Charter Communications’ performance to the City’s cable television franchise in the franchise’s final year before expiration.  CSG also explored options with regard renewal and state video franchising.  CSG is currently assisting the City in conducting a feasibility analysis regarding governmental access production.

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CITY OF REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Maggie Healy, Management Analyst

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

Since 2003, CSG has provided services related to renewal of the City’s Adelphia franchise.  In 2000 and 2001, CSG performed a variety of services related to reviewing an application for an OVS franchise by RCN Communications.  During 1995, CSG performed a comprehensive evaluation of Century Cable's compliance to the City's customer service standards.  Identification of non-compliance, recommendation for corrective actions, and draft correspondence was provided.  CSG continues to provide administrative expertise related to cable television matters on a case-by-case basis. 


CITY OF SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

Joe Fletcher, City Attorney

Gerardo Mouet, Executive Director, Recreation and Community Services

CSG advised the City in matters related to renewal of Adelphia’s franchise agreement from 2002 through 2006.  See Link to Franchise Agreement: Execution Copy  This support included development of an interim franchise extension, leading franchise negotiations and assisting the City Attorney with franchise renewal. From 1984 to 1990, and from 1993 through October 1995, CSG provided professional support in administering the City's cable franchise and managing the City's award-winning cable television division.  On a regular, part-time basis, CSG monitored the cable operator's franchise compliance, provided support to the City's Cable Television Advisory Board, provided support to the City's Finance Department in monitoring franchise fee payments of the cable company, helped handle customer complaints, monitored budget activity, and facilitated the City's use of cable technology.  CSG was completely responsible for concept and execution of all video/cable programming produced by the City between 1985 and 1990, and purchased more than $500,000 in video equipment. CSG's President also handled the majority of staff duties associated with transferring the Group W franchise agreement to Comcast in 1987, including the deposition and relocation of more than $1,000,000 in video production equipment and supplies.  Mr. Risk, CSG's President, was employed full-time as the City's Cable Administrator from 1985-1987. 

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CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA

Lori Sassoon, Assistant City Administrator

Catherine Allison, City Manager's Office

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout the first quarter of 2007, CSG has assisted the city preparing for either renewing its local cable franchises or waiting to allow the companies to apply as state video franchisees.  CSG assisted the City in analyzing compliance issues and in extension resolutions enabling the three local franchises to be extended through the January 2, 2008 date specified in AB2987. CSG also offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals. In addition, CSG worked with City Attorney in renewal preparation drafting governing ordinances for state video franchising laws.

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CITY OF WALNUT, CALIFORNIA

Charles Robinson, Assistant to the City Manager

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the city in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.  Beginning in 2005, CSG has assisted the City in assessing community needs, a comprehensive franchise performance audit and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.  In addition, CSG assessed department needs related to governmental and educational access.  CSG acted as lead negotiator on the former renewal project and will serve as lead negotiator with Charter on this renewal.  From 1992 to November 1996, CSG assisted the City in general franchise administrative duties, rate regulation services, and with the renewal of the City's franchise with Charter Communications. 

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CITY OF CHINO HILLS, CALIFORNIA

Raymond Hansen, Senior Administrative Analyst

In 2005, CSG assisted the City in transferring ownership of the cable T.V. franchise. From 1995 to 2002, CSG provided the City with general franchise administrative duties and later provided the City with consultant services related to the renewal and transfer of the City's franchise with Century Cable and TCI Cablevision.   Along with extensive planning, fact finding, and strategy development, CSG conducted a community needs assessment, a comprehensive franchise performance audit, and technical evaluation for franchise renewal/transfer, as well as furnishing the City with a comparative analysis of franchise transfers.  Services included extensive rate regulation assistance, a review of documents, evaluation of compliance, and recommendations for franchise renewal negotiations.  CSG also negotiated the terms and conditions of a renewal agreement with Adelphia Communications.   

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CITY OF DIAMOND BAR, CALIFORNIA

Ryan McNeal, Assistant to the City Manager

In 2005, CSG assisted the City in transferring ownership of the cable television franchise.  CSG also performed a compliance audit of Adelphia as well as enforcement of customer service standards.


CITY OF FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA

Chris Meyer, City Manager

Ed Paul, Former Revenue Director

In 2005, CSG assisted the City in transferring ownership of the cable T.V. franchise.  In 1998, CSG was engaged to perform consulting services related to the City's franchise renewal with Comcast Cablevision.  CSG conducted a comprehensive review of Comcast compliance under the customer service requirements of the cable television franchise agreement, the 1984, 1992 Cable Communications Acts, and the 1996 Telecommunications Act.   CSG also conducted a comprehensive needs ascertainment.  This performance assessment included provisions of the franchise agreement and City Codes, including any special performance requirements associated with customer service.  From 1993 to 1994, CSG assisted the City in setting up a customer service performance monitoring and rate regulatory program.  This program includes: identification of performance related criteria contained in ordinance and franchise documents; creation of a customer service protection ordinance based on existing ordinance, state laws, federal laws and FCC rules and regulations; development of a complaint process and monitoring of performance for the City; and a review of rate requests for reasonableness.  In 2000 and 2001, CSG worked with the City in its transfer of ownership proceedings between Comcast Cablevision and Adelphia Communications, and a review of service rates.

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CITY OF LONG BEACH, CA
Sherry Blohm, Cable TV Manager  / Curtis Tani, Director, Information and Technology Department

Since 2002, CSG has provided general administrative and regulatory consulting services to the City, including telecommunications and regulatory strategy development and franchise compliance review. In 2003 CSG began assisting the City’s renewal process with Charter Communications, which included a technical compliance audit and an extensive financial due diligence review. CSG has also conducted extensive research on “effective competition” on behalf of the City.

 


CITY OF ALBANY, CALIFORNIA

Beth Pollard, City Administrator

In 2002, CSG performed an audit of AT&T as due diligence related to the AT&T Comcast merger.  Task included technical department inspections, customer service audits, and audits of bonds, insurance, franchise fees and letters of credit.  CSG assisted the City in its negotiations regarding the transfer of a cable franchise from Century Cable to TCI Cablevision.  Since March 1993 CSG has performed a number of compliance related audits of the City’s cable television operators.  CSG assisted the City with various franchise administrative services including strategic planning and clarification regarding issues of transfer. CSG also conducted a comprehensive compliance audit of Century Communications, along with a comparative analysis of franchise transfers, a needs ascertainment and assessment, and document review, including review of FCC Form 394 when Century was being transferred to Adelphia.  CSG was particularly helpful in negotiating a settlement of a dispute of first refusal in the transfer of the franchise from Century to TCI in 1998.  In this transaction, the City received a settlement in excess of $100 per subscriber (more than $340,000).

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CITY OF RICHMOND, CA
Cecily McMahan, Cable Television and Telecommunications

Since May 2002, CSG has performed a number of compliance related audits of AT&T as due diligence related to the AT&T-Comcast merger. Tasks included technical department inspections, customer service audits, and audits of bonds, insurance, franchise fees and letters of credit. Also, in June 2002, CSG conducted a site survey and technical review of AT&T's cable plant to confirm completion of AT&T's 1999 rebuild in the City of Richmond. CSG's review included analysis of system demographics, service call and outage records, FCC proof of performance reports, sweep testing, and subjective observations. In addition, in 2002, CSG completed a survey of residential households. The workscope included meeting with City staff and task force to finalize ascertainment depth, survey administration, analysis and report of findings. The results of CSG's needs analysis were used by the City during franchise renewal negotiations and served as a benchmark to shape the terms and conditions of a new cable television franchise.

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SIERRA MADRE, CALIFORNIA

Tammy Gates, Former City Manager

In 2001, the City retained our services to be lead negotiator in a franchise renewal for two franchises involving Adelphia Communications and Altrio.  Tasks included determination of resources, delegation of duties between other consultants, financial reviews, and drafting franchise agreement language.  We continue to negotiate the terms of the franchise and reached conclusion by summer 2003.

COUNTY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA
Ellen Sturtz, Former Franchise Administrator

In 2001, the County retained our services to be lead negotiator in a franchise renewal for two franchises of the County involving Charter Communications. Tasks included determination of resources, delegation of duties between other consultants, financial reviews, and drafting franchise agreement language.

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CITY OF PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA
Gene Beatty, Former Assistant City Manager

In 2000, CSG performed a fourth year review of AT&T Cable Services related to franchise compliance, technical compliance, and franchise fee payments made to the City during the period of July 1998 through December 1999. Services included a review of documents, evaluation of compliance, and recommendations.

CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Ed Harrington, Controller

In 1996, CSG performed a three-year procedures audit of Viacom Cable related to franchise fee payments made to the City during the period of July 1993 through June 1996. Detailed audits were performed of all sources of revenues relating to subscriber and non-subscriber revenue. Recommendations were made for collecting amounts found underreported and for drafting franchise language for future franchise transfer agreements.

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COUNTY OF MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
Aleta Cozart, Former Deputy CAO

From 1992 to 1995, CSG was contracted to update and revise provisions of County's ordinance as they relate to customer service and performance. CSG completed a compliance audit of the two cable operators as a part of the process. CSG also provided a variety of services related to the County's rate regulation proceedings and franchise administrative issues in general.

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CITY OF MISSION VIEJO, CALIFORNIA
Danian Hopp, Former Assistant to the City Manager

From June 1991 to June 1995, CSG provided a variety of cable television consulting services. In 1991, CSG monitored franchise compliance and established action plans for cable utilization by the City. Duties included research and report writing concerning equipment, staffing, budgeting, and other elements of municipal programming operations and facilities. Work scope also included production of City Council meetings, other special meetings, and capital project management of a $130,000 video production facility. In 1993, CSG prepared a strategic plan for provisions of the franchise dealing with public, educational, and government access television. In 1994, CSG implemented and managed a community access television model at Mission Viejo High School. In 1993 and 1994, CSG performed rate regulatory consulting and assisted the City in transferring its cable franchise from Multivision to Cox Cable.

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COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA
Gerry Hansen, Former Director Department of Weights and Measures

From June 1992 to July 1993, CSG provided on-site cable television administration services related to the County's 18 cable television franchise areas. CSG services included customer complaint handling, customer service performance auditing, franchise fee reconciliation, and technical performance auditing. Compliance reports were provided on a quarterly basis. Meetings and compliance hearings were coordinated as needed. CSG provided additional consumer affairs support via telephone hotline services available to more than 100,000 subscribers.

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, CALIFORNIA
Mary Strenn, Former City Manager

In 1993, 1994, and 1995, CSG audited cable TV franchise documents, records and complaints concerning a transfer of ownership between Valley Cable TV and Cablevision Industries. CSG submitted a compliance checklist and report. CSG also provided legal and technical assistance for City negotiations with Valley Cable and assisted with the development and management of the Cable Television Advisory Board and implementation of rate regulation matters.

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CITY OF TEMPLE CITY, CALIFORNIA
Isa Kravitz, Former Assistant to City Manager

In 1993, 1994, and 1995, CSG was contracted to assist the City with franchise renewal proceedings and rate regulatory activities related to its cable company, Crown Cable. Tasks included a compliance audit; community needs assessment, franchise fee audit, renewal questionnaire, rate reviews, rate hearings, and planning for renewal negotiations.

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CITY OF NORWALK, CALIFORNIA
Dan Keen, Assistant City Manager

In 1993 and 1994 CSG was contracted to assist the City with franchise renewal proceedings with Crown Cable. Tasks included a compliance audit, community needs assessment, franchise fee audit, renewal questionnaire, and assistance in renewal negotiations.

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CITY OF SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
Pete Wilson, Assistant City Manager

CSG assisted the City in 1991-92 in negotiating a modification of its franchise agreement with Cox Cable concerning more than $200,000 for public access support and facilities. CSG provided an analysis of developing and operating a non-profit access corporation and audited public access operations to evaluate the City's regulatory and fiscal relationship to PEG access in the City.
 

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CITIES OF CYPRESS, LAKEWOOD & LA PALMA, CALIFORNIA
Ron Kenny, Director of Recreation and Community Services

In 1998 CSG was retained to conduct a comprehensive review of Media One's compliance under the customer service requirements of the cable television franchise agreement and the 1984, 1992 Cable Communications Acts, along with the 1996 Telecommunications Act, in each of three cities (La Palma, Lakewood, and Cypress). This performance assessment of the cable operator also includes the provisions of the franchise agreement and City Code, including any special performance requirements.

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CITY OF INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
Charlie Francis, Former Administrative Services Director

In 1992 and 1993, CSG assisted the City's renewal/transfer negotiations with Palmer CableVision. CSG completed a community needs assessment including public meetings and extensive interviews with City staff, a comprehensive franchise performance audit, and technical evaluation for franchise renewal. Services included a review of documents, evaluation of compliance, and recommendations for franchise renewal negotiations. In addition, CSG provided extensive rate regulation assistance to the City.

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CITY OF GARDENA, CALIFORNIA
Mitch Lansdell, City Manager

From 1989 to 1992, CSG performed a variety of technical, administrative, and policy related services concerning Group W Cable. Services included compliance auditing, franchise fee analysis, public access planning and development, and technical audits of the cable system associated with customer service.

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CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
David Hankin, Former Deputy General Manager, Telecommunications

From 1989 to 1993, CSG served as the City's public access compliance auditors. CSG's services included periodic reviews and compliance reports for all fourteen cable television franchises in the City, including the inspection of more than $2,000,000 in video equipment. CSG's services also included recommendations for corrective actions and franchise enforcement.

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COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
Patricia Montemayor, Cable Television Administrator

In 1990, CSG conducted a review of the County's cable television enforcement activities and made recommendations for improvements. Activities included technical assessments and operational recommendations. Project planning focused on costs and benefits between full-time personnel and contract staffing.

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CITY OF HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Mary Rooney, Former Assistant City Manager

In 1989, CSG completed a comprehensive franchise performance audit and technical evaluation. CSG reviewed documents, offered evaluations, recommendations, and action plans for continued enforcement of cable regulatory provisions by City staff and for documenting community access needs. In 1993 and 1994, CSG assisted the City with its franchise renewal proceedings including ordinance and franchise review, financial analysis and an assessment of the impact of rate regulation. Later, in 2000, CSG assisted the City again in reviewing community needs and franchise provisions for an OVS competitive cable television franchise with RCN Communications. This matter required a thorough review of historic and transfer related franchise requirements related to fiber connectivity, public, educational, and governmental access equipment and facilities. CSG also performed a financial analysis of RCN’s proforma.

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CITY OF DUARTE, CALIFORNIA
Don Pruyn, Former Assistant City Manager

In 1988, CSG conducted a comprehensive analysis of the City's municipally held cable system. Multifaceted audits were performed in the following four areas: Financial; Contract Compliance; Management; and Marketing. The results of our work supported the City's decision to sell its interest in this municipally held cable television system for $15,000,000.

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