Salisbury Cable Rates Likely Heading Up

SALISBURY – Cable rates in Salisbury could be headed up in the near future.

The only other business on the City Council’s legislative agenda this week besides a consent agenda and the presentation of this past fiscal year’s audit was a resolution to approve the calculation of Maximum Permitted Rates for limited basic service and regulated equipment rates and installation charges as set forth in Comcast’s rate filing dated Oct. 1, 2012.

City Administrator John Pick explained that when Salisbury adopted its franchise agreement with Comcast the city reserved the right to review the rates for limited basic service and for equipment installation charges annually.

Salisbury Director of Internal Services Keith Cordrey submitted the city received two forms from Comcast that calculate the maximum permitted rate for limited basic service and maximum permitted rates for equipment and installation of service, based on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

The Department of Internal Services staff has discussed the documents with Joseph Lance, Senior Director Regulatory/Compliance, and is satisfied that the calculations of the regulated rates are reasonable and consistent with FCC regulations.

As calculated in Form 1240, the Maximum Permitted Rate for limited basic service for this term period is calculated at $17.14. This is an increase of $1.14 from the prior year’s Maximum Permitted Rate of $16. The current rate for limited basic service is $15.50. Comcast will notify the city 30 days prior to when any rate increases for limited basic service will take place.

As calculated in Form 1205, the 2012 Installation and Equipment Rates have been established for the current term period. The calculated rate decreases identified in the Operator Selected Rate, which vary, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Comcast will notify the city 30 days prior to when any rate increases will take place.

Council Vice President Deborah Campbell asked Cordrey how the process takes place while representatives from the financial department meet with Comcast representatives.

“We have a conference over the telephone with the person who was responsible for attaining the documents, Forms 1240 and 1205, walks us through line by line and shows us how it was calculated and shows the support of those worksheets with those figures on those forms,” Cordrey said. “So it is really just a matter walking though the document, it is similar to tax returns.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.