An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) among the Jurisdictions grants the MHCRC the authority to regulate cable services franchise agreements with Comcast (serving county-wide) and Ziply (serving east county). Collectively the cable companies serve about 140,000 cable subscribers. As a result of the cable services franchise agreements, the Commission oversees an annual fund budget of about $8 million.

The MHCRC carries out it’s authority by:

  • Establishing the Community Technology Grants program, an annual, competitive funding opportunity, which historically allocates about $1,000,000 annually to libraries, local governments and non-profit community organizations
  • Directing the TechSmart Initiative for Student Success, an 8-year, $16 million initiative aimed at supporting effective instructional practices that use technology to improve academic outcomes for all students (the initiative will sunset in 2023)
  • Overseeing contracts with two community media centers: Open Signal, serving Portland, and MetroEast Community Media, serving the east Multnomah County area
  • Enforcing cable company compliance with franchise agreements
  • Providing consumer protection for cable service subscribers in cable television matters, including complaint resolution
  • Conducting cable franchise negotiations, renewals, and transfers of ownership
  • Promoting community and institutional uses of cable communications technologies, including the deployment of broadband fiber by cable companies
  • Participating in advocacy efforts for legislative activities and FCC proceedings