Local Cable Providers

Issues With Cable Service

Under federal and state law, local government authority over cable companies is very limited. The County cannot regulate rates, equipment charges or programming. However, the County can assist with customer service issues through the cable company’s government affairs manager.

If you are having problems with your cable service you should always contact company first. Contact information for each company can be found in the Contact Us section of this page. For unresolved customer service issues, including issues with installation, online technicians or response by any cable company employee to a citizen or business in James City County, please complete the form below.

Cable Franchise Agreement

James City County currently has franchise agreements with two cable TV providers. The County maintains non-exclusive franchise agreements for cable television with Cox Communications and Shenandoah Telecommunications (ShenTel). A non-exclusive franchise provides an open door for any other cable company to apply for a franchise with the County.

The County remains open to cable competition to our area and staff has spoken with representatives from other cable companies about providing services to County residents. To date, those companies have not made plans to invest in the underground wiring, equipment, facilities and other infrastructure needed to provide cable services. 

Other TV alternatives in James City County are satellite TV and Over-The-Air TV (OTA) which requires an antenna and Digital TV (DTV) ready television.

Franchise Fees

Franchise fees are charged by the state and local governments for use of the public rights-of-way. Federal law stipulates that the fee must be 5% or less of the cable company’s gross revenues from their operation within the local government’s jurisdiction. Cable companies itemize their franchise fees on cable customer statements.

Franchise fees are paid directly to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The state combines those fees with other telecommunications fees and taxes and returns a portion back to the local government.