City of Somerville

Agenda Item

Requesting the Approval to Hire the Law Firm of Kirbey Harrington LLP as Outside Counsel to Negotiate the Renewal of the City's Comcast Licence and Proposed Transfer of the RCN Licencse.


Category:Mayor's RequestPurposes:Communication

Official Text

To the Honorable Board of Aldermen:


I hereby respectfully request approval to hire the legal firm of Kerbey Harrington LLP as outside counsel in our pending cable license renewal negotiations with Comcast, Inc., and to address the proposed transfer of the RCN license.


Additional information from Matthew Buckley, Assistant City Solicitor, is attached.


Thank you for your consideration.




Meeting History

Apr 22, 2010 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
Jun 9, 2010 7:00 PM  Finance Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Kirby told the members that Somerville has 3 telecom services that are above ground and that data is more secure when transmitted below ground. Verizon is a Title 2 company in the telecommunications system, and as such, is heavily regulated. To date, Verizon has not asked to be a cable provider in the city. Comcast and RCN are both regulated by Title 6. Part of the negotiations with RCN involved making sure that the city received financial concessions from RCN that were comparable to those received from Comcast. RCN resisted for 2 years but finally agreed to an amount of $550,000, spread over 10 years, and additional channel and 10 new sites for I-Net. This was a solid victory for the city. RCN is in the process of being acquired by the private equity firm Avery Partners and the city should ask questions regarding the transfer.

Jun 10, 2010 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting

Ald. Trane recused.