A "franchise" is similar to a real estate lease because it is an agreement that allows a private company - like the phone company - to use streets and other public rights-of-way for private infrastructure - like phone lines. A franchise agreement usually requires the private company to pay franchise fees for the use of public property, but the agreement typically doesn’t regulate the company’s day-to-day business operations. Some franchises are issued by the City of Victoria, but many are issued by the State of Texas.
As of January 6, 2014, all cable/video service franchises in Victoria are granted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). In consideration for their private use of the public rights-of-way, certificated cable companies operating under a state franchise are required to remit a fee equal to 5% of their gross revenues earned from customers within the City limits and 1% of their gross revenues earned from customers within the City limits in support of Public, Education and Governmental (PEG) Access Channel programming on a quarterly basis.
The PUC website includes the following information about Cable Franchises:
[A] State-Issued Certificate of Franchise Authority (SICFA) must be obtained in order for the provider to [offer Cable Television Service] in a particular service area. SICFAs are obtained through the PUC. The PUC merely issues the SICFA and is not authorized to resolve disputes between providers and customers. The PUC only can forward cable complaints to the cable company involved and provide customer service contact information.
The FCC has established customer service standards for cable providers. Cable providers with a SICFA must follow these standards until there are two or more providers (excluding satellite providers) offering cable service in the relevant municipality. Information about these standards and matters that are under the FCC’s jurisdiction can be found at the FCC’s Cable Service Bureau website.
Customers experiencing issues with cable/video services, or with broadband services offered by a cable/video provider, should directly contact the customer service department of the service provider. Contact information for providers with a SICFA to serve the City of Victoria are listed by the PUC:
Cable One, Inc. SICFA Number 90014
Contact (complaint): Cable One Inc
210 E Earll Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Cebridge Acquisition LP SICFA Number 90015
Contact (complaint): Cebridge Telecom TX L P D/B/A Suddenlink
Dennis D Moffit
Vice President Senior Counsel
520 Maryville Centre Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63141
For more information on the FCC customer service standards for Cable TV providers.
The FCC has established an online portal for consumer complaints.