Ascertainment and Renewal Details


Community Ascertainment and Franchise Renewal Services

Copen & Lind Consulting provides municipalities with overall assistance in performing Community Needs Ascertainments and Franchise Renewal Negotiations. Our firm takes a comprehensive approach to franchise renewal and community ascertainment to provide a thorough and realistic evaluation of the community’s current and future cable-related communications needs.

Cable communications are becoming an integral part of any community’s economic and cultural infrastructure. The franchise renewal is an opportunity for municipalities to assess and obtain those important communication services, in exchange for the use of the public right-of-ways, over the term of the new franchise. Copen & Lind work closely with the municipality in all phases of franchise renewal including:
  • Multi-community unified renewals;
  • Franchise document review and compliance analysis;
  • Technical assessment and cable plant review;
  • Recommendations for system architecture, capacity, capability, construction timetable and other technological characteristics of the cable system;
  • Identification of future municipal and educational cable-related interests and needs such as: distance learning, I-Nets, data transmission, access to the InterNet, and other telecommunications infrastructure needs;
  • PEG access evaluation including assessment of current and future operational, capital, facility and equipment recommendations;
  • Assessment of possible changes in customer service policies and practices;
  • Financial impact projections;
  • Updating of local cable/telecommunications ordinances;
  • Community needs ascertainments including subscriber surveys, interviews and community focus groups, with questionnaires, for educators, government representatives, producers, viewers and nonprofit organizations;
  • Ascertainment Report and Telecommunications Vision Plan creation;
  • Development of the Request for Renewal Proposal (RFRP) and the “model” Cable Franchise Contract;
  • Workshops with Cable Advisory Boards and Municipal Governments to establish the renewal team structure and guidelines for periodic updates throughout the process, and;
  • Negotiating, along with the local negotiating team, the final Cable Contract with the cable provider.


Copen & Lind Consulting * 22 Ward Street * Amherst, MA 01002
Voice: 413-256-4902 * Fax: 413-256-4944