The Office of Information Technology Committee that was appointed by the Utilities and Energy Committee last year to develop a model franchise agreement has recently finished its work and has submitted the Model Franchise to the Utilities and Energy Committee for their review and approval. The model is for use by towns, if they choose to do so. The provisions of the model were hammered out in over 40 meetings between cable operators, municipal representatives and the Community Television Association of Maine. It is important to note that prior to the availability of this model, most Maine towns relied on the Franchise Agreement initially provided by the cable operators. Now they have a choice without needing to hire expensive legal counsel and engage in lengthy negotiations over issues that should be common to all Franchises. A letter from NECTA (the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association) points out that although they endorse the model as a resource, they do not automatically agree to all it's provisions, leaving that up to individual negotiations with the towns.
An Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word version of the Model can be found on the OIT web page at:
If your cable operator is Time Warner, you may view your town's franchise at
If you live in an area served by Comcast you may find your towns franchise at:
Prior to negotiating a franchise agreement, towns should have a proper CATV ordinance in place. Here is the link to the State Statute about that.
Note that it does not make it mandatory, but it would be wise to protect the town with one.
Here is the link for consumer protections in Maine relating to Cable Television:
It includes the provisions for credits and refunds from the cable operator for service interruptions.