Why can't Atlink negotiate a franchise agreement like typical telephone or cable television company?

Article 18, Section 5A of the Oklahoma Constitution reads as follows: 

Section 5(a). Grant, extension or renewal - Approval by voters - Term.

No municipal corporation shall ever grant, extend, or renew a franchise, without the approval of a majority of the qualified electors residing within its corporate limits, who shall vote thereon at a general or special election; and the legislative body of any such corporation may submit any such matter for approval or disapproval to such electors at any general municipal election, or call a special election for such purpose at any time upon thirty days' notice; and no franchise shall be granted, extended, or renewed for a longer term than twenty-five years.

Federal Laws

Federal law supersedes the Oklahoma Constitution. For Oklahoma telephone companies, Federal law specifies that they are regulated by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), not local governments, so a franchise agreement is not required. Federal law requires cable television providers to receive their franchise agreements directly from local city councils, not a vote of the people.

View the Email Regarding Findings (PDF), to view the email we sent about these findings.

Show All Answers

1. Why can't Atlink negotiate a franchise agreement like typical telephone or cable television company?
2. How can the City of Tuttle use the rights-of-ways without a vote of the people?
3. Can the City prevent other communication companies from competing in Tuttle?