Brookhaven recovers $1M in fees from Comcast

The city of Brookhaven has reached an agreement with Comcast to collect nearly $1 million in fees paid by residents to the cable company but never transferred to the city.

The Brookhaven Post reports that the city hadn't transmitted an ordinance to receive the franchise fee payments since it incorporated in December 2012.

Franchise fees are charged to residents on their utility and cable bills to compensate local governments for the companies’ use of public right-of-ways.

Mayor J. Max Davis told The Brookhaven Post that Comcast held the money until now, and the cable provider had been through similar situations with other cities.

Comcast will pay the city about $981,976 for fees collected from January 2013 to March 2015, and the company will make quarterly payments from now on.

The city is trying to determine if any other cable company owes franchise fees that the city could have been collecting, Davis said.

Comcast Vice President of External Affairs Andy Macke said the company is an active investor in broadband infrastructure.

“By example, in Georgia, we’ve spent, over the course of the past 20 years, an average of 200 million dollars a year in ensuring that fiber rich broadband infrastructure is here and throughout our footprint across the state,” Macke said during a presentation to the Brookhaven City Council.