(Photo by Flickr user Ryan Hallock, used under a Creative Commons license)
For the last six months, Comcast and the City of Philadelphia have been negotiating Comcast’s 15-year contract with the city. The process has been a rare chance for the city to negotiate with one of its biggest corporate citizens.
City Council unveiled the city’s proposed contract Thursday. It includes an expansion of Comcast’s low-cost Internet Essentials program to include seniors, veterans and people with disabilities, improvements to customer service, the creation of a call center that will hire 200 Philadelphians and the launch of a $500,000 “Digital Inclusion Alliance Fund.”
Philly Mag has a good breakdown of all the important parts of the proposed contract, plus the bill itself.
There was no provision about Comcast funding technology in schools, which activists were fighting for, or free broadband in underserved neighborhoods, as Mayor Michael Nutter said he would ask for.
“We got to a place where each party isn’t necessarily getting the entire pie, but they have enough of what they want,” Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid told the Inquirer.
As for Comcast, the Inquirer reported that “Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander said in a statement that the company was pleased to see progress and looking forward to finalizing ‘an agreement that is satisfactory to the city, Comcast, and our customers, and enables us to continue investing and innovating in Philadelphia.'”
City Council has to approve the contract and aims to do so before the year ends. It’s not clear if there will be a public hearing. We have an email out to Councilman Bobby Henon’s spokesman.
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