City of Kirkland posts Annexation Update regarding cable TV

The following information is from the City of Kirkland Annexation Update:

The City has received several inquiries recently about the availability of certain cable television services and the broadcast of the City’s government access channels in the annexation area. We hope the following information is helpful.

Cable Television Franchise Agreements Franchise agreements are negotiated on behalf of the citizens in a community to provide for the delivery of basic services such as water, electricity, and cable services. As owners of the public right-of-way, the City is responsible for managing access and use for the public benefit. The franchise agreement is one method cities use to manage the use of the public right-of-way.

City of Kirkland The City of Kirkland's government channels are established through cable television franchise agreements between the City and local cable providers—Comcast and Frontier Communications (formerly Verizon). The City receives annual franchise fees for the right of the franchisee to access the City's right-of-way. These fees go into the City’s general fund and assist with City operation. There is also a twenty-five cents pass-through fee that is used specifically to provide for the equipment needed to operate the City’s two television channels. More information about Kirkland’s cable TV franchising can be found on the City’s website.

King County Comcast has a franchise agreement with King County for unincorporated areas, including the annexation area. Frontier does not have a franchise agreement with King County. Upon annexation, Frontier will be allowed to provide services in the annexation area under the same agreement that governs their conduct in the current Kirkland boundary.

Cable Television Services Prior to Annexation Effective Date The City has been receiving inquiries from annexation area residents about what services will be available prior to the effective date of annexation so that they can take advantage of “bundled” services.

Comcast As a proactive measure, the City requested Comcast to provide the City of Kirkland’s government channels to the annexation area prior to the June 1, 2011 effective date. Comcast recently received approval from King County to switch its customers programming on Channel 21 and 75 to Kirkland TV programming. Comcast customers currently view City of Seattle government access channels on Channel 21 and KCTS HD on channel 75. KCTS will be moved to channel 73 and the City of Kirkland’s programming will replace the City of Seattle’s programming.

Comcast advises that the majority of its customers will be switched by late September. Customers along the northern border of the annexation area who are currently tied to Kenmore or Bothell TV feeds will be switched by the end of this year. Comcast will notify its customers of services changes.

Frontier Communications Because Frontier does not currently have a franchise agreement with King County, it is not able to provide cable TV services (FIOS TV) to the annexation prior to the effective date of annexation. Frontier is not required to have a franchise to deliver internet or telephone services.

Kirkland TV: K-GOV and K-LIFE

Kirkland’s MultiMedia Services Division operates two government television stations which are broadcast on the following channels:

  • KGOV: Designed to inform, educate, and involve Kirkland residents. (Comcast Channel 21, Frontier Channel 31)
  • KLIFE: Includes programming about life “in and around” Kirkland. (Comcast Channel 75, Frontier Channel 32)

Programming on both stations can be streamed from the City’s On Demand webpage.

We realize this message includes a detailed information and hope that it answers questions you may have about cable TV services.  Please contact us at annexation@ci.kirkland.wa.us or 425-587-3001 should you have further questions.

~The City of Kirkland Annexation Team