Franchise Process

The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications manages telecommunications franchises for New York City, including cable television, public pay telephones, mobile telecommunications, and local high capacity telecommunications. A franchise is a contract entered into by the City with a private entity to provide a public service using the City's streets and such facilities. Telecommunications franchises allow the installation and maintenance of wire, cable, optical fiber, conduit, antennae, and other structures on, over, and under City streets to transmit video, voice, and data. These contracts ensure consumers receive reliable service and provide additional community benefits, such as WiFi in public spaces, computer centers, and public, education, and community access channels.

How it Works

The Mayor designates the agency with expertise and responsibility in the area covered by the franchise. The responsible agency then prepares a proposed authorizing resolution that is presented to the Mayor who may submit it to the City Council for approval. Once submitted to the City Council, the proposal may be approved, approved with modifications, or denied. 

An approved authorizing resolution then serves as the basis for a request for proposals or other form of solicitation issued by the responsible agency to select franchisees.  The selection of franchisees is then made in accordance with the authorizing resolution.  The selection and proposed franchise contract is then presented to the Franchise and Concession Review Committee for review and approval.

If approved by the Franchise and Concession Review Committee, a separate approval of the Mayor is required. The executed contract must then be registered by the City's Comptroller. For more information please see Chapter 14 of the City Charter.

To receive notice of franchise opportunities, sign up for the solicitation mailing list.