Cable Franchising: Learn more about it through Dakota County’s process

Cable franchising is always a prickly topic. Providers would often like to do away with or at least streamline the process of cable franchising. Local government is not always interested in losing control or revenue that stems from franchising.

Northern Dakota County is looking at cable franchising now. They recently sent an email out to residents about CenturyLink’s application for franchising. I think there’s a lot to be learned in the email – about the process in Northern Dakota and beyond…

Residents Feedback Wanted

Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission (“NDC4”) has received a Cable Television Franchise Application from CenturyLink, the local incumbent telephone exchange carrier operating in the Commission’s seven-city franchise area. Residents and businesses of Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, and West St. Paul are encouraged to submit comments or questions relating to CenturyLink’s franchise application via one of the following options:

  • Via telephone or in person during the LIVE televised and web streamed meeting on June 3rd at 7 p.m. The meeting will be televised LIVE on local Government Channel 18 (Comcast) and web streamed LIVE here.
  • Via e-mail at by 3 p.m. on June 3, 2015.
  • Via US Postal Mail to NDC4 Cable Commission, 5845 Blaine Avenue, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076, received in our office by 3 p.m. on June 3, 2015.

Submitters should indicate their name and home or business address located in one of the above-listed seven cities.


NDC4 published a “Notice of Intent to Consider Application(s) for Franchise(s)” on March 8, and March 15, 2015, with the application deadline of March 31, 2015. One application was received from CenturyLink. NDC4 published a Notice of Public Hearing on April 5, 2015, announcing the opening of the public hearing to occur during the full Commission Meeting on April 15, 2015. During that meeting the Commission voted to continue the Public Hearing through the next full Commission meeting on June 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Documents and Video

The following documents are available at

You can also watch the April 15, 2015, NDC4 Commission Meeting online.

Other Information

CenturyLink has applied for franchises or requested the initiation of the process in many Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area communities. The City of Minneapolis granted CenturyLink a video franchise on May 15, 2015, and you can watch the video of that meeting here. You can read more about Minneapolis’s franchise process is available here and here.

NDC4 is a joint powers cooperative formed by its seven member cities to administer and enforce the cable television franchise ordinance for each of the seven cities. NDC4 is the local franchise authority representing cable subscribers’ consumer interests, and also overseeing seven local community access channels on the Comcast cable system. For more information, call 651-450-9891, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or visit

This entry was posted in Cable, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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