Open Video Frequently Asked Questions

DoITT manages franchises for cable television providers to operate in the City. The cable providers are Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and Verizon. RCN, an open video systems provider, also provides cable television services.   

1. What type of services can an open video system open video system company provide?
2. Do open video system companies have territories like cable companies do?
3. Can my landlord prevent me from obtaining open video services?
4. How are open video system providers regulated?
5. How may I contact the existing open video system provider?
6. Isn't RCN a cable company?

1. What type of services can an open video system company provide?

An open video service, or “OVS” company, can provide cable, high-speed modem, telephony, and satellite dish service.

2. Do open video system companies have territories like cable companies do?

Open video system companies are not restricted to territories like cable companies, nor are they required to wire entire areas. They typically wire buildings and areas where they believe they can achieve higher penetration rates. However, in order for them to provide service, the majority of residents in a building must be willing to accept their service.

3. Can my landlord prevent me from obtaining open video services?

Yes, in cases where there is a landlord (as opposed to a co-op), the landlord must grant permission to install open video services.

4. How are open video system providers regulated?

There is no government authority regulating open video system companies. New York City has a contractual agreement with RCN so that they comply with consumer service standards similar to that of cable companies.

5. How may I contact the existing open video system provider?

RCN Telecom Services
1-800-RING-RCN (1-800-746-4726)

6. Isn't RCN a cable company?

No. While it does provide cable services, RCN is an open video system provider and must follow different guidelines. RCN’s other service are high-speed modem, telephony, and satellite dish service.