cable oversight

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Here, you'll find information pertaining to the City's franchise authority with Mediacom, which provides cable TV service to the Iowa City area.

The Cable TV Division, with advice from the Iowa City Telecommunications Commission, is responsible for negotiating and enforcing the contract which allows Mediacom to run cable lines through Iowa City.

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Local Access Channel Survey Results are Now Available
The City Cable TV Office has issued a report to the Iowa City Telecommunications Commission on a survey recently conducted to ascertain the public’s perceptions of the local cable access channels. The survey looked at programming preferences, sources of information about programming, methods of viewership, and frequency and barriers to viewership. The report can be found here.


Read Our Consumer Guide
In response to the results of our consumer survey, we've created a Consumer Guide to help citizens understand their options for broadband use. Click here to see our online Guide.


Residential Broadband Survey Results
In the fall of 2013, the City of Iowa City Telecommunications Commission conducted a survey of over six hundred Iowa City area residential broadband consumers, looking at factors affecting consumer satisfaction, consumer knowledge of their broadband service, patterns of broadband use, and broadband network performance. The survey results will be used by the Commission in developing a public education program to help consumers better understand their broadband service and options. The survey results are now available to the public. A summary of the results as well as the full report can be found here.

Former Commission Chair, Hans Hoerschelman, remarked that the survey uncovered several surprising results. “Consumers’ knowledge about their broadband service, in regards to both the level of service they purchased and the level of service they actually received, was less than might be expected. Remarkably, age, educational attainment, and household income did not correlate with the level of service to which consumers subscribe, the Internet applications they use, or their level of understanding about broadband service. I was also surprised to learn that nearly a third of respondents reported they use an Internet connection to work from home either ‘primarily’ or ‘part-time’.”

Other findings include:

1. Over a third of respondents did not know the advertised top speed of their service level. Nearly half did not know the speed of their service tier for their computer to send information to other computers. Over two thirds did not know whether they were subject to surcharges if their use exceed a certain limit.

2. Overall, respondents selected service tiers with download speeds, or the speed of a service, similar to the national average of fifteen point six megabits per second (Mbps), or the amount of data that can be sent per second, despite having access to service levels with speeds higher than the national average. Over half of respondents subscribe to a service tier between eight Mbps and twenty Mbps. A little over a quarter have less than eight Mbps. Only three percent receive forty Mbps or more.

3. Nine percent of respondents reported being “very satisfied” with their service. Seven percent were “satisfied,” nineteen percent “somewhat satisfied,” twenty-two percent “somewhat dissatisfied,” fifteen percent “dissatisfied,” and eighteen percent “very dissatisfied”. Overall, fifty-five percent fell into the “dissatisfied” group and forty-five percent were in the “satisfied” group.

4. Cost of broadband service was most frequently cited as the aspect of service with which respondents were dissatisfied. Seventy-nine percent of respondents believe the cost of broadband service is too high for the level of service provided.

5. Streaming video is at least a weekly event for sixty-four percent of households. Steaming video usage has grown significantly in the past three years and usage will continue to grow. Over two thirds of respondents wish to use more Internet applications than they do currently. Overall demand for bandwidth will continue to grow.

6. Over two thirds of households have four or more devices connected to the Internet.

Cable TV and Broadband Internet News
Every month the Iowa City Telecommunications Commission meeting packet includes links to articles related to cable TV and broadband Internet, with particular interest in those issues that impact Iowa City. Those article links can be found on the meeting packet page.

iowa city telecommunications commission

The Iowa City Telecommunications Commission (ICTC) is a five member body appointed by City Council. It serves as an advisory body to the City Council on matters of cable TV and telecommunications. The Commission's membership and duties can be found here, and its 2014 annual report can be found here.
(Note: The report is a .pdf document that requires Acrobat Reader. If you don't have a copy, you can download it by clicking on the icon below)
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franchise and ordinance

The City's non-exclusive agreement with Mediacom outlines what is required of the company in exchange for use of the public right-of-way. The federal government has specific rules governing what a municipality may and may not require in a franchise agreement. The current franchise will expire in August 1, 2018.

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