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Bellingham City Council has approved a franchise agreement with CenturyLink.
Bellingham City Council has approved a franchise agreement with CenturyLink. McClatchy

Cable television subscribers in Bellingham will have another company to choose from after City Council members on Monday approved a franchise agreement with CenturyLink, according to a news release from the city.

The agreement comes after more than a year of negotiations and a presentation of the franchise draft brought before City Council on July 24.

CenturyLink anticipates being able to provide Prism, its cable TV service, to 6,200 addresses within a year.

The agreement carries a 10-year term. However, CenturyLink has the ability to end the agreement in five years if it’s not providing services to 20 percent of the total subscribers in Bellingham.

“Soon 6,200 Bellingham addresses will have a choice when it comes to cable television providers,” said City Council member April Barker. “Ultimately the community will determine CenturyLink’s success because their buildout rate is dependent on consumer adoption. Hopefully CenturyLink’s customer service and Prism product will rise to Bellingham’s expectations so more residents will have access in the near future.”

The baseline for the agreement with CenturyLink came from the franchise renewal Bellingham made with Comcast in 2011 after establishing a number of community needs and interests.

“After spending a year on this franchise agreement I am happy the full council supported it,” said City Council member Gene Knutson. “It’s a good agreement for the city and CenturyLink and the citizens of Bellingham. Choice is a good thing and I hope CenturyLink meets its goals.”