you can look at it two ways, either a greedy municpality.. or a local cable company looking for job security, maybe a little of both. it's quite possible there may even be a truce between satellite and local cable companies to stop or slow down telco's entry into video. if telcos pass on these costs to the consumer, it's quite likely people will not buy video from them, backfiring on those franchise fees-- you can't GET what they don't COLLECT. a viscious circle whereby satellite and local cable monopolies win, which is to say despite the record number of 'settled' franchise agreements won by telcos, they aren't shy of passing on these costs to the end consumer. a reform must 'get at' a MAXIMUM determined value of concessions to a franchise without any possibilty of a waiver, with resonable adjustment for inflation. this is an up-hill holy grail because it's no secret that the telcos are flush with cash (fresh from mega merger) for their buildouts.