City of Alexandria Cable Franchise - Comcast FAQ
What is Xfinity?
"Xfinity" is the brand for Comcast's technology platform, products and services. All of the services that residents receive from Comcast have been enhanced and are called Xfinity. Xfinity offers Comcast customers more high-definition channels, greater speed, and more choices. Xfinity is made possible by Comcast's network upgrade to an all-digital platform. While Comcast's services have been enhanced and the service name has been changed, the company name remains Comcast.
What is a franchise agreement?
Comcast provides cable television service in Alexandria under a contract with the City called a franchise agreement. The agreement lays out Comcast's responsibilities to the City and its customers in exchange for access to public infrastructure such as laying cable underground. Some provisions of the agreement are negotiated between the City and Comcast, and others are constrained by state or federal law. The term of the current franchise agreement is five years, with provisions for two additional five-year extensions. The agreement only concerns Comcast's provision of cable television service; the City is not permitted to regulate telephone or Internet service.
Why were some of my cable channels moved from basic to digital?
The City has received several subscriber complaints about the migration of channels from the basic tier to the digital only tier. Unfortunately, local franchise authorities (such as cities) are prohibited by federal law from dictating programming and channel lineups to cable companies. The issue of cable companies moving channels to higher numbers is being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission.
Is the City able to keep Comcast from increasing the cost of cable television?
Federal law allows local franchise authorities to regulate the price of limited basic services only. The portion local franchise can regulate are based on a FCC formula. Unfortunately, the cost and tiers of service are not under the control of the local franchise authorities.
Can the City regulate the volume of commercials and other cable television content?
Federal law governs the volume of television commercials, and this matter is not within the scope of City regulation. For more information, including an online complaint form, visit the FCC's page about Loud Commercials and the CALM Act.
Does Comcast have an exclusive franchise from the City?
No cable television, Internet, or telephone provider has an exclusive contract to provide service in Alexandria. The City Council has consistently encouraged competition in the City.
For information or comments about Comcast's operating franchise, contact the City of Alexandria:
Alexandria's FCC Community Code is VA0220
Please contact Comcast if you are having trouble with your Comcast service.
Online: Contact Us Call: 703.746.3024 Mail: John Lyons
Alexandria City Cable Administration
City Hall, P.O. Box 178
Alexandria, VA 22314