A cable franchise is the formal agreement between the City and a cable provider, and is required by state and federal law. Our cable franchising authority is established by the Federal 1984 Cable Communications Act and execution of that authority is guided by the Bellevue City Code (Chapter 5.30). The franchise agreement only concerns cable television service, as telephone services are regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and internet services are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. Federal law establishes restrictions on what the City is allowed to regulate. The City of Bellevue does not have the legal authority to regulate cable television rates and programming services.
Currently the City of Bellevue has cable franchise agreements with Comcast and CenturyLink. The franchise agreements are non-exclusive meaning the City can enter into additional franchise agreements with other cable service providers that submit franchise applications and meet the City’s franchise requirements.
The City of Bellevue acts as an advocate for cable subscribers in Bellevue. Our staff will file a complaint with the cable provider on your behalf for a problem you have been unable to resolve after reasonable attempts with the provider. To access City help, go to MyBellevue or download the MyBellevue app on your smart phone or tablet and submit an issue.
The city conducted a resident broadband survey that covered cable, phone, internet, wireless and Wi-Fi, and results can be found here.