Nutter signs 15-year Comcast franchise agreement

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 Mayor Michael Nutter signs the new agreement between Philadelphia and Comcast, Inc. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Michael Nutter signs the new agreement between Philadelphia and Comcast, Inc. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has inked a new 15-year franchise agreement with Comcast.  It’s being touted as a national model for negotiations elsewhere.

Adel Ebeid, the city’s chief innovation officer, presided over negotiations with Comcast.  

The new agreement, which means millions in franchise fees for the city, also includes a side deal to expand broadband access for those who can’t afford it now.

“This is a very large, complex business transaction, but at its core is a social agenda centered around the fact that connectivity leads to opportunity,” Ebeid said. “And that’s what we kept in front of us.”

Jim Samaha, a Comcast senior vice president, said the unprecedented agreement benefits all.

“It will connect many more Philadelphians to the power of the Internet and provide good-paying jobs for city residents and so much more,” Samaha said.

Philadelphia residents will be hired to staff a virtual customer service center while working from their homes.

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