September 28, 2016
Public Utility Board passes a resolution.
The Tacoma Public Utility board approved a funding proposal to expand Click! Cable TV to include internet and phone service. The proposal doesn’t require any financial support from the city of Tacoma’s general fund. The resolution will now go to the Tacoma City Council for review.
September 9, 2016
Public Utility Board to vote on direction for Click! Network
The Public Utility Board intends to vote on a resolution at its Sept. 28 meeting to give formal direction for Click! Network and establish a business plan moving forward.
The board will accept in-person feedback from the public at its Sept. 14 and 28 evening meetings and written feedback from Sept. 9-23.
August 16, 2016
Click! Engagement Committee Presentation to the Tacoma City Council - Options for Click!
Sept. 1, 2015
Click! Presentation to the Tacoma City Council and Public Utility Board - Options for Click!
August 26, 2015
Click! Presentation to the Tacoma Public Utility Board
TPU management presented options for Click! Network to the Tacoma Public Utility Board on August 26, 2015.
July 15, 2015
Click! Presentation to City Club of Tacoma
TPU management presented Click! information to City Club of Tacoma July 15, 2015
July 7, 2015
Click! Update for City Council and Public Utility Board
TPU management provided information for the City Council and Public Utility Board at a joint study session July 7. The presentation includes information about Click!'s history, financials, cost of shutting down Click!, and marketing and rate comparisons with other cable and Internet providers.
Public Outreach Results
A Public Utility Board presentation on June 17, 2015 explained Click!'s public outreach since March 31, 2015 and provided information about the results of a recent public opinion poll.
Alternative Business Model Analysis
A Public Utility Board presentation on June 17, 2015 provided information about the financial viability of different Click! business models. .
Click! Financial Update
A Public Utility Board presentation on May 20, 2015 covered some of Click!'s history, a description of changes in technology related to the use of the telecommunications network and an overview of the costs assigned to Click! and Tacoma Power.
Click! Over the Airwaves
Listen to two radio interviews regarding Click!'s current and future status:
NPR interview - April 14, 2015
New Business Model
Click! proposes new business model to City Council and Public Utility BoardAfter significant analysis, TPU management is proposing to enter into a public/private partnership to allow a private company to operate Click! Network, including Click! Cable TV.
The lease-like arrangement would mean TPU still owns the network, but customers would be served by a private company instead of Click!.
A proposal presented on March 31, 2015 to the City Council and the Public Utility Board included an option for a public/private partnership with Wave Broadband, a Kirkland-based company that offers cable, Internet and phone service along the I-5 corridor.
Why would TPU let someone else operate Click! Network?
There are many reasons a public/private partnership makes sense. First and foremost, Click! can no longer provide customers with the best products, services and technology at the lowest rates. A private company with more customers can negotiate better programming contracts and can obtain better technology – like TiVo DVRs and gigabit Internet – than Click! can get.
Financially, Click! has never been able to support itself. Approximately $9 million in operating costs each year are being covered by Tacoma Power electric ratepayers.
TPU management has been looking for ways to relieve that financial burden, and a public/private partnership is the best option for accomplishing that.
The proposal from Wave Broadband includes:
- 40-year contract with an option to renew for 10 years
- $2 million per year in lease payments
- $1.5 million per year in infrastructure improvements
- Wave Broadband would bear all the costs of operating Click! Network
- Total value of $380 million
How would I, as a Click! customer, benefit from this arrangement?
One of the biggest benefits Click! brought to this community was competition in the cable market. When Click! got its start, TCI was the only cable provider. Thanks to Click!’s presence in the market, rates have been lower and service has improved. A public/private partnership would improve such benefits currently enjoyed, and retains competition in the market.
Some of the other benefits resulting from a public/private partnership include:
- Maintains choice of service providers, market competition keeps rates low
- Better products and services -more channels, TiVo DVR, faster Internet - gigabit speeds
- Maintains TPU ownership and oversight of the network, which is important for the operation of the electric system
- Ensures continuity of service for customers
- Requires continued investment in the network, which will help ensure service and reliability improvements and growth in long-term value of the network.
If this is approved, would Click! go away?
Yes, if the current recommendation is approved by the City Council and the Public Utility Board, Click!, as a business, would no longer exist. Wave Broadband would offer Click! customers their current cable TV packages for up to two years, but at the end of the two-year period customers would have to transfer to new packages offered by Wave Broadband.
What happens with Click!’s three Internet service providers?
The three Internet service providers – Advanced Stream, Net Venture and Rainier Connect – would still have the option to offer service on Tacoma Power’s network. Wave Broadband would be the wholesale service provider.
What would happen to Click! employees?
If policymakers vote on an agreement with Wave Broadband, Wave would need to hire local employees to operate in our service area, and has committed to interviewing current Click! employees. Current Click! employees who go to work for Wave Broadband would be based in Kirkland, Port Orchard or Wave’s new location in Tacoma.
What’s the timeline for all of this?
The timeline depends on several factors: how policy leaders feel about this proposal and whether they decide to pursue an agreement with Wave Broadband or go a different direction.
We want to ensure a public process that allows for input from Click! customers, as well as Tacoma Power customers, to help policymakers determine the best direction.
Even if pursued in the most efficient manner, it’s likely to take until the end of this year to fully transition to Wave Broadband, and probably longer if policymakers want to pursue other options.
Would cable TV rates change?
To help reduce impact on our customers, the current proposal with Wave includes a limit on rate increases of 5% per year on cable TV service for a two-year period. Click!’s rates continue to climb, and are expected to increase by as much as 17.5% this July. A private company, such as Wave Broadband, with more customer and better economies of scale is able to offer better rates than Click! is able to offer.
How can I share my thoughts about this?
- Listen to the March 31, 2015 Public Utility Board and City Council joint study session on TV Tacoma’s website.
- Click! Cable TV Presentation - March 31
- Public/Private Partnership Quick Info