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Business and Economy

Audit Indicates Spectrum Underpaid Franchise Fees To Nine Cumberland County Towns

Cable TV provider Spectrum allegedly underpaid nine towns in Cumberland County a total of more than $140,000 in franchise fee payments in 2017 and 2018.  That's according to an audit conducted by a Minnesota law firm hired by the Greater Portland Council of Governments.  

Municipal Collaboration Director Tony Plante says the optional audit was part of the franchise fee negotiation process that the Council of Governments is helping with.

Plante says the underpayments are most likely due to the cumulative effect of data errors resulting from cable industry consolidation.

"So I think it's likely more administrative clerical in nature than anything else," Plante says. "Nevertheless, it's important that communities get the revenue they're due by their agreements."

Plante says the underpayments likely continued in 2019 and 2020.

In an email statement, Charter Communications, which serves customers through its Spectrum brand,  says
cable franchise-fee audits like these are routine, and that the company is reviewing the auditor’s claims and plans to respond to the communities soon.

Plante says it's likely the underpayments continued in 2019 and 2020.

In an email statement Charter Communications, which serves customers through it's Spectrum Brand,  says

cable franchise-fee audits like these are routine, and that the company is reviewing the auditor’s claims and plans to respond to the communities soon.