You think a franchise agreement is bad? Come to Canada where 3 companies effectively own 97% of the cell, cable TV/internet and DSL/fiber internet. It gets worse because these companies also basically work in a no-compete environment. You can't get Shaw in Ontario, your only choice is Rogers or satellite TV. So with that, Rogers, Bell and Telus effectively own the entire cell market. Bell and Shaw effectively own the satellite TV market(US dishes are illegal in Canada). Rogers owns 95% of the cable TV market and cable internet in the eastern half of the country. Shaw owns 90% of the western half plus a large segment of the satellite TV market and cable internet. Bell owns the rest of the satellite TV market. Bell and Telus hold a monopoly on DSL/Fiber based services across Canada(though Telus mainly holds to the western half of the country for DSL/fiber).
Up until ~10 years ago, independent ISP's that offered services outside of their geographical area didn't exist at all. These days, if I want to get Teksavvy, Distributel, Ebox or whatever I can. Because the CRTC forced these incumbents to lease their last mile to small providers. That's the way it used to be in the US too.