Frederick County Council Awards Cable Franchise To Shentel

It’s expected to provide broadband to an underserved areas of the county.




Frederick, Md (KM) In a unanimous vote last week, the Frederick County Council approved a cable franchise agreement with Shenandoah Telecommunications Company—which also goes by the name Shentel–to provide broadband service.  It’s a ten-year franchise agreement where Shentel has agreed to provide the service to at least  55 percent of residents in its franchise area who lack it.

It now goes to the County Executive for her signature.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Steve McKay raised a concern. “I think we should have had a workshop on this to walk through the elements.,” he said. “I’m going to vote for it. We had a public hearing. I thought we were going to have presentation on it.  We didn’t even have a presentation on this. This came to us cold.”

A hearing was held on the proposed franchise agreement, but no one testified.

Councilwoman M.C. Keegan-Ayer said she too shared some of Councilman McKay’s concerns, but she said the agreement has some good points. “I do appreciate the fact that the County Executive is giving folks an option in Frederick County because we really need a choice of cable companies particularly in some areas of the county where nothing is available,” she said.

The County already has a franchise agreement with COMCAST, but this agreement with Shentel will not affect that.

The Frederick Board of Aldermen approved a contract with Shentel in 2020.



By Kevin McManus