This Is our Village

Friday, April 28, 2017

UCO REPORTER MAY 2017 EDITION - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE


MY CONCERN

As I see the proposals by Comcast and Atlantic Broadband drag out and seemingly never end, my concern is that we will be defeated by time.

I do not know what AB's real deadline for commencing work on getting fiber-optic to us is. They say they need 24 months prior to June 2019 (expiration date of our present CC contract), which would be this June. That would mean a final, signed contract, agreed upon in all points by both parties, done by then. Maybe they can plan on doing their fiber-optic work in less time, but then we are at more risk they will run short on time!

How near are we now to a real "deadline"? If the Delegate Assembly were to decide on CC or AB at the May Delegate Assembly, that decision, of course, is still NOT final. There would remain then many details, let us say maybe as many as thirty, to clear up with the chosen company and get into legal language agreeable to them and us. Let's look at two possible scenarios.

1. We choose Comcast at the May D.A. Comcast then drags its feet getting these details finalized while at the same time reneging on an important point or two we thought had been understood. The back-and-forth goes beyond the time when AB would have needed to start, so they are forced out of the running. Now Comcast has no competition, they are in the driver's seat, we find they renege on a lot (surprise, surprise), and we are stuck with an expensive bad contract.

2. We choose Atlantic Broadband at the D.A. We then get halfway through agreeing on the thirty details with them and ironing out an important point or two we thought had been understood but wasn't. It looks as though we will have an agreed-upon, final signed contract in time. Why on time? Because AB has no reason to drag its feet; it needs to get going. If this happens, all is well and good.

But what if two weeks after the D.A. vote, Comcast suddenly reenters the fray with an offer "too good to refuse"? What do we do? If we put AB on hold and get serious about the new CC offer, we may find ourselves a month later with CC having dragged its feet. SOME points have been resolved but not all. Another month is needed. You can see what I'm driving at: Comcast again accomplishes its goal of getting AB out of the running. Then, before there is a signed agreement, they can change their tune completely, and we are stuck with an expensive bad contract.

Perhaps at this point, having received many concessions from both companies, we should simply not be too greedy. Perhaps it is best we choose AB at the Delegate Assembly, and then, provided AB pulls no deal-breaker surprises, we should simply go with them rather than "take the bait" from Comcast. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

UCO OFFICER'S COMMITTEE - APRIL 27, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE


ELEVATOR AT THE CLUBHOUSE IS OUT OF SERVICE (9 AM THURSDAY)

Hi all,
We are advised that the elevator has been repaired:

Eva Rachesky
1:19 PM (12 minutes ago)
to Rhoda, me
 
Hi Rhoda,

The elevator was not working this morning and has since been repaired.


Dave Israel

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING - APRIL 25, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE


CONDO LAW AND BOARD MEMBER CERTIFICATION

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PHYLLIS RICHLAND AND JENNIFER CUNHA
                          INVITE YOU TO A BRUNCH AND LEARN
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CONDOMINIUM LAW LEGAL OVERVIEW
and  BOARD CERTIFICATION FOR BOARD MEMBERS
May 24, 2017 @ 9:30-11:30am
Century Village Craft Room
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Breakfast will be provided!
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Seating is Limited - RSVPs required!
Please call 561.231.0640
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Jennifer may also be reached at:
Jennifer M. Cunha, Esq.
601 Heritage Dr., Ste 424 · Jupiter, FL · 33458
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Dave Israel
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING - APRIL 19, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

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NEW BUSES ARRIVE - GRAPHICS CONTEST TO BEGIN

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Here are pictures of the new buses. Note that there are two distinct sizes, the larger buses have built in cubby holes for grocery bags and storage for walkers. This Post is to announce a contest for graphics to appear on the bus exterior. Send your design to ucopresident@gmail.com, or bring it into UCO.
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To the left is the big bus, with built in cubby holes for grocery bags or other small items. Also, there is a special compartment for walkers.








Below is the smaller bus.
So, create a design for these new buses that is appropriate for Century Village. Something bright, and colorful.

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Dave Israel

Sunday, April 16, 2017

THE DECISION ON BROADBAND


HOW THINGS ARE SHAPING UP

It has been a long journey for the Broadband-Cable Committee and our residents in deciding which company to go with for the next ten years—now whittled down to  Atlantic Broadband (AB) or Comcast (CC). In the past 13 days since the March 3 Delegate Assembly a lot has changed. At that time, Comcast having finally agreed to allow Optional Internet, we thought the two Internet proposals had come near equalizing. They had not. See below.

On April 6, the Computer Club hosted a presentation by Atlantic Broadband, open to everyone, in Classroom C. This was followed by a "vigorous" discussion period, says one attendee. A day later, following the April 7 Delegate Assembly, there were consecutive presentations by AB and CC in the Party Room, which was packed with residents—and again, they were each followed by vigorous discussion periods. Comcast in particular was taken to task for (1) their insistence on charging about $60/month for Optional Internet if not signed up for at a unit owner's FIRST opportunity with no intervening opt-outs; (2) requiring UCO, the associations or their management companies to handle the record-keeping of the aforesaid opt-ins and opt-outs (an accounting nightmare for us);  (3) charging about $60 for many service calls; and (4) quietly increasing their monthly charge for TV so the difference between their charge and that of AB came close to $4.00.

After repeated assertions that these were Comcast's "bottom line" concessions, we found they were not! Comcast once again "sweetened the pot" somewhat with respect to items 1, 2, and 4 above—but not item 3, which has been a source of complaints with many people under the present Comcast contract.

The Reporter staff discussed the matter at their April 11 open meeting, and at the end took a vote. Not a single hand went up in favor of Comcast, while every hand went up in favor of Atlantic Broadband. It is unusual for the Reporter to take an editorial stance on an issue, but because this matter is so important, we may do so in the May issue.

Then on April 12 the Broadband Committee met once again. Despite the partial concessions Comcast made, the Committee voted unanimously in favor of the Atlantic Broadband proposal. There was a sense that the Committee was NOT happy with Comcast dragging out things, their unclear answers to questions, and pulling surprises—in contrast to Atlantic Broadband's straightforward, generous proposals and clear answers to questions. That was my take on things, at any rate.

Now the Officers will discuss the matter, then the Executive Board, and finally the Delegate Assembly—quite possibly at the May 5 meeting, where a final vote may take place. Time is of the essence, for Atlantic Broadband will soon be out of the running.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Comcast has to go

This mornings internet outage convinces me even more that comcast has to go. along with billing issues.

Friday, April 7, 2017

DID THE STRAW POLL GO THE RIGHT WAY? YOU BE THE JUDGE!!

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ATLANTIC BROADBAND VS COMCAST - WHAT DO YOU THINK?

- Atlantic Broadband vs comcast from David B. Israel on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ATLANTIC BROADBAND - THE ROAD TO THE FUTURE

Atlantic Broadband, the way of Century Village's Future.



Gee Linus, I'd hate to give up on my ol' faithful TV set, But times are changing and sooner or later you just have to change with them.

Get more, pay less, Isn't that what EVERYONE in the Village wants? The best quality, they most programming, the best service, FOR THE LOWEST PRICE???? So what is the issue? it's a no - brainer. Atlantic Broadband has it all.  MORE CHANNELS, More Premium Movie Channels, FREE SERVICE CALLS.
Face it, Sooner than later you will be getting a new TV and getting rid of that beast in your living room and bedroom. Wouldn't it be nicer being able to use all the features built in now? Forget comcast... they want you to pay $62+ for internet service if you aren't signed up initially and if you are a snowbird and shut it off even if you had signed up, you get charged the 62+ after you return. Comcast=A LOUSY DEAL. 

SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING - APRIL 4, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

TRANSPORTATION MEETING - APRIL 4, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

Sunday, April 2, 2017

WHY I AM NOW FOR ATLANTIC BROADBAND AND NOT COMCAST



THE TIME FOR BETTER OFFERS IS OVER IN MY JUDGMENT

When we took the straw vote at the March 3 Delegate Assembly, I was really undecided as to whether we would be better off under a new communications contract with Comcast or Atlantic Broadband. Over the previous several months, right up until the time of the Delegate Assembly, it had been back and forth between the two telecommunications companies—first one and then the other seeming to offer the better deal. I think many delegates were bewildered. They had had no TIME to digest final offers by the two. Both Comcast and Atlantic Broadband appeared to be now offering the long sought-after optional Internet, their prices seemed close enough, and Atlantic Broadband was the new kid on the block. I think some voted for Comcast on the grounds of "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." Even though a straw vote is not binding, I think in retrospect it was a mistake to ask for it at that Delegate Assembly. I don't blame anyone for voting for Comcast at that time.

Since the meeting, a number of points have been clarified. Perhaps foremost among them is the fact that "Optional Internet" with Comcast is not what we expected. Unless as a present owner, you sign up for Internet when the new contract starts, you won't get it for $20/month—or $30 or $40 or even $50. You will have to pay $62.30! That is more than I pay NOW to AT&T by about $20! I don't like the fact Comcast revealed this so late in the game. It makes me distrust them.

Moreover, even if you do sign up for Comcast Internet in the beginning (and stay signed up), they insist that the record-keeping be done by UCO, the associations, or the management companies. That's asking the impossible. The Comcast rep who was at the most recent Broadband-Cable Committee meeting would not budge on this point—nor the outlandish $62.30 charge.

There are several other reasons I now think that Atlantic Broadband is clearly offering us the better deal. You will find some of them in my article in the April Reporter titled "Down to the Wire with Comcast and Atlantic Broadband."

Will Comcast do another turnaround and sweeten the pot? If so, I doubt I would trust them at this point. They have known for several weeks now that we are on the brink of deadline, after which Atlantic Broadband would be out of the running because of their inability to get fiber-optic cable to us in time. Would Comcast LIKE that to happen? Think about it. CC could then pick up all the chips and have their way without the AB competition.
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ATLANTIC BROADBAND VS COMCAST

People complain at every assembly meeting that so and so can't afford another dollar raise. Well keeping comcast will be just that. it starts out at $32 and change, AB STARTS at $29, That is already a savings of $3 a month, that's an extra can of tuna to some, to others an extra lottery ticket. No, I really am not trying to be a wiseguy, I have eyes, I can see some of these same people claiming poverty going out to play in these "arcades". /their business, but don't claim poverty when you throw it away. There are some with legitimate issues, and if paying and extra buck here or there is hurting them, then Atlantic Broadband is the ONLY choice for them. Cheaper in price, better service, more bang for your buck. For those that say they only watch three channels, well, the rest of the village watches more, and you can stick to watching your three channels at a lower price. it's a win-win.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

April 1st, 2017

Sorry if I wasn't clear. The march on April 1st will start at 9AM in the Clubhouse party room,
first some breakfast, then a march around the periphery and back to the party room for an Open mike.
All are welcome. 
Century Villagers cannot sit idly by and watch everything we have fought for for 50 years  
disappear See the listing in the post before this one.
.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

CV DEMOCRATIC CLUB TO MARCH ON APRIL 1, 2017

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Image result for The Democratic Club of Century Village WPB
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The Democratic club of Century Village and neighbors are having a march on April 1st. to continue to demand from the President and Congress the following:
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Protection of Social Security benefits
Medicare and Medicaid benefits
Equal pay for Equal Work
Support of Public Schools
Fair Immigration policies
Fair voting practices  
Right of Choice
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The following is the announcement we'd appreciate if you would send out.
All are invited to attend and participate.
to be able to get into Century Village:
get in touch with  Connie..ruthconnie@aol.com
Thank you,Ruthie
CVDEMS.jpeg
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Dave Israel
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OFFICERS COMMITTEE MEETING - MARCH 23, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

HB653 update

We watched the Florida House of Representatives on http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57517&SessionId=83
and the HB653 changes to Florida Statutes 718. Pretty interesting stuff.
The main reason I watched was because of the retrofitting question. Whether we in the village need to worry about it, especially because some in my association were concerned about opting out.
From what I have seen and read, it is not a concern here. It is for condos 75 ft and above. I don't believe there are any buildings here that meet that criteria.

NOTICE OF PASSING - UCO TREASURER - HOWARD O'BRIEN

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It is with great sadness and regret that we note the passing of UCO Treasurer Howard O'Brien.
His intelligence and humor will be greatly missed in UCO, and his service to our Community will be long remembered.
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Dave Israel
President
United Civic Organization
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Monday, March 20, 2017

BE A CERT - BE READY FOR VILLAGE EMERGENCY ACTION - GET TRAINED

Upcoming CERT OCC Meeting

 
*G-317 CERT Basic Courses*

 

Please noticed the updated location for this course.
Thank you !

Our mailing address is:
20 S Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Michael Merrell
mmerrell@pbcgov.org
561-712-6337
You are at Peace now Howard..

Deepest and Heartfelt Sympathy to Dennis and the O,Brien Family.
Genuinely a great loss to our community.

Frank & Barbara

Monday, March 13, 2017

INSURANCE FLASH-DRIVE IS READY

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Image result for flash drive icon-
Hi all,
Did you elect to have your Association Insurance policies on a Flash-drive?
Well, the Flash-drives have arrived, and may be picked up at UCO.
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Dave Israel
 


Sunday, March 12, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS TO THOSE WHO TOOK THE OATH TODAY

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THAT TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE TODAY!

I hope you will all do the best you can for our village.....

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BOARD CERTIFICATION CLASS BEING SCHEDULED - SIGN UP IF INTERESTED

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Dave Israel
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A Review...You missed out.

WE went to the show last... Golda's Balcony.  I knew it would be a play of course, Bella thought it might be a comedy, I wasn't sure, comedy, drama, musical, who knows? The opening was delayed for a couple minutes but seemed like an eternity.
The sound finally comes up and out on stage comes Golda, portrayed by Francine. An actress that I never heard of before, but has a very long and impressive resume of past performances, Gypsy, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Bus Stop, Mame, Driving Miss Daisy just to name a few of the dozens more.
The award winning Producer/Director Jay Kholos also has quite a list of past productions. Writer of the book, words and music of A Stoop on Orchard Street, directed musicals, My Catskills Summer and The Book Of Esther and others.
When Golda comes on stage, we are treated to a one woman show. She takes you back, as a young 4 year old girl in Czarist Russia, leaving the persecution behind and going to America.
Her parents struggle to get by in Milwaukee, and as a 15 year old, She leaves home to live with her sister in Denver and go to High School.
She learns of Socialism, Zionism and meets the man she will eventually marry in 1917.
In 1921, they go to Palestine and live in a Kibbutz. She tells of the inner struggle between her love of her family and their personal sacrifice for Goldas love of Israel.
The rest of the story tells of Golda going from working in a kitchen in the Kibbutz to becoming the Prime Minister of Israel and dealing with the Yom Kippur War. Dealing with Nixon, Kissinger, and her representative in the states and it's conclusion.
The acting was superb. Francine had you believing that Golda Meir was on the stage. She made you laugh, she made you cry. She made you believe in the words "NEVER AGAIN".
As we were walking out, after the standing ovation for a truly wonderful performance, you could hear the comments, "I never knew that...", "I learned so much about Golda..." "What a fantastic show" and "Riveting..."
It was. It was a shame more people did not see it. Not only was it a great show, it was an education.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New Broward's Ordinance

Hello to all,
We would like something cleared up and we would appreciate your help. We found out Broward county has a new ordinance stating that the board has to specify reasons to a prospective buyer or renter who has been refused. The board has to respond to the prospective buyer within 45 days of receipt of the application. Does this ordinance apply to West Palm Beach county also. We have a few units up for sale and we would appreciate the legal procedure in case of sale refusal. Thank you so much.
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Your Blogmeister replies:
REF:
http://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/2013/09/articles/fair-housing/broward-condos-hoas-subject-to-new-screening-regulations/

On September 10, Broward County Commissioners adopted changes to the local Human Rights Ordinance after hearing testimony of community leaders largely united in opposition thereto. 
Broward County’s Human Rights Ordinance already prohibited discrimination in housing and employment practices.  It already included protections beyond the Florida Statutes and Federal Law.  For example, the Ordinance prohibits discrimination based on marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation and gender identity, while none of those classifications are included in the state or federal statutes.  Condo and HOA associations are already expected and must comply with prohibitions against discrimination in the terms and conditions, including sale, use or occupancy, of housing.
The new changes really only establish two new requirements for community associations in connection with the screening process (sale and lease approvals):
  • The association must acknowledge receipt of the application in writing and say whether it is complete or not within 15 days of receipt; and
  • If the association denies an application, within 45 days it must send a written notice saying why.
Since most community documents require the association to respond within 30 days, the timing of a denial letter shouldn’t be a problem.  While the required acknowledgement of receipt of an application is likely a shorter timeframe, a simple form letter to send automatically should be sufficient.  There are very limited reasons to justify denying an application, so you would think that really shouldn’t be too problematic either.  However, these requirements subject the association’s decision making process to scrutiny and create additional paperwork that some communities aren’t equipped to handle.  What association isn’t facing enough scrutiny already?
An association typically denies an application based on the application itself or information obtained from an investigative report.  That is personal, sensitive information. Federal law prohibits the association from disclosing anything in a credit or investigative report.  The letter notifying prospective buyers or tenants they are not approved as a result of a negative investigative report becomes an Official Record and which may be subject to inspection by owners, so the association arguably has to violate federal law to comply with Broward County’s law if your explanation of the reason for disapproval goes into any detail at all.  That doesn’t make sense to me.
Sometimes the association bases its decision on subjective factors.  Say an applicant skips an interview appointment, then arrives half-hour late for the next appointment, parks in an owner’s spot and is obnoxious to the office staff.  Say you find out that the applicant owns a 100 lb. Rottweiler but says the dog will stay in New York while the new owner enjoys the cold winter months in Florida.  You may have a good reason to reject those transactions but doing so certainly opens the door to criticism.  Of course, association rights in these circumstances are limited by the governing documents.  Assuming your association has the right to disapprove, where is the right place to draw the line? 
One thing I know for sure, association directors (or managers) should contact their attorneys to make sure they stay firmly planted on the tightrope between complying with the Ordinance and divulging information that should be kept confidential.  Community associations may have to revamp their screening procedures by amending their declarations, revising the applications themselves and adopting specific guidelines.  Associations will need to carefully train anyone that is involved in the screening process.  That includes the person at the front desk or the security guard or the parking attendant or the child of the president who may receive a package.  It also includes the person who opens the package and the person who orders the background report.  The person conducting interviews and whoever issues correspondence on behalf of the association must be well trained.  Someone has to be responsible to ensure all of these individuals are being thorough and processing the application in a timely manner.
I don’t believe anyone would disagree that ferreting out discrimination is a laudable goal.  You’re kidding yourself if you believe discrimination does not occur inBroward County. There is already a huge body of law on what constitutes discrimination and there are no impediments to bringing claims or lawsuits against associations based on discrimination, despite the fact that associations are not required to disclose the reasons an application is rejected.  If a claim is made, the association is on the hook to show it acted on a non-discriminatory basis.  Moreover, anyone believing they have been discriminated against has an advantage in that they can turn to a governmental agency to file a complaint.  They do not have to fork out money to hire private counsel, while the association is on its own.
 Implementation of well-intentioned laws often create undesirable outcomes that are not contemplated when the law is enacted – this may be one of those laws. 
.......................................................
This question surprises me, as Fair Housing Laws do not allow for arbitrary decisions in regard to housing. These laws are to be found at Federal, State, and Local level. In short, you need a very good reason  to reject someone for housing.

Dave Israel
 
 
 
 

BROADBAND & CABLE COMMITTEE MEETING - MARCH 8, 2017 - LIVE IN CYBERSPACE

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

COMCAST OR ATLANTIC BROADBAND?


SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

In a straw vote at the March 3 Delegate Assembly, an overwhelming number of the delegates voted for Comcast (CC) as opposed to Atlantic Broadband (AB) to be our cable company for an upcoming ten years providing TV, OPTIONAL Internet, and OPTIONAL phone service.

This was not a final vote, however. The time for that will come when negotiations with both companies have been completed and their final proposals are in, the "I's" dotted and the "t's" crossed. The straw vote was to get an idea of how the delegates feel at this point.

I am not attempting here to convince anybody one way or the other between CC and AB, but to mention a few points to consider:

1. We do not have forever, as some suggest, to decide one way or the other. The present Comcast contract expires in June 2019, and Atlantic Broadband—if they are to remain a viable contender—needs 18 months to get their fiber-optic cable from North Miami to the Village, and then throughout the Village and to our condos. (I don't believe they will be actually digging a trench from North Miami to CV. I believe that part will be a matter of leasing equipment already in place and getting permits—but this still takes considerable time. Actual trenching, however, will be done in the Village.) You can do the math to see when negotiations need to be completed—I should think in the fall.

2. It is vital that AB and Comcast REMAIN viable contenders, as it is the competition that has forced each company to progressively over the past few months "sweeten the pot." 
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AB has advised us that the TiVo T-6 will have a modification allowing it to accept voice commands just like the Comcast Infinity X1 system. This is the newest "pot sweetener" (DBI)
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Our business is worth a great deal to them, that is certain. But if CC sees that AB is not in the running because there is no longer sufficient time for them to get their cable to us, then, as Dave Israel says, expect a whole new ballgame with CC's prices skyrocketing. Nothing is final until a contract has been drawn up by the lawyers and signed by all the parties.

3. Keep in mind that costs and benefits are not always what they might seem. For example, a $500,000 cost (or benefit) difference for the Village over ten years between the two companies breaks down to only 54 CENTS per condo unit per month. (Divide $500,000 by 10 years, then by 12 months, and finally by 7800 units.) To give an example, that might seem a very small price to pay for greater customer satisfaction.

4. Keep in mind that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you have the best fiber-optic cable installed right up TO a residence and the wiring inside the unit is questionable, the "signal" at the TV or other appliance may be poor. With which company can we be more certain of the inside wiring being top-notch—as it needs to be?
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Both providers will check the interior wiring, and if the signal strength is inadequate, will replace the wiring at no cost to us. (DBI)
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5. The single most important thing about a cable contract, Leo Delgardo of CSI Associates has told us, is getting service when you need it—the first time you call, service that fixes the problem, and service that to the extent possible is cost-free. Pros and cons to consider are: past customer satisfaction, the company's experience over time, if they will have a technician on site daily, and how the cost (if any) is calculated.
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AB has agreed to an on-site service Tech. availability. (DBI)
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6. Does it make sense to go with a company that, yes, is the giant in the industry with years of experience, but also has a reputation of having been unresponsive to customers with problems? Or does it make sense to go with a smaller, relatively new company (that isn't really a brand-new company; in fact its parent company, Cogeco, is the eighth largest telecommunications company in North America), on the assumption that the new company, which badly wants our business in order to set itself up in southeastern Florida, will be more motivated to please? Do you go with a known quantity or a less-well-known quantity?

7. Both companies are now offering ten-year contracts, but (from what I understand) a new Comcast contract could start from this fall, not June 2019. Whereas June 2019 would be the start date with AB. Thus, while with CC the new contract might expire in the fall of 2027, we would be locked into a new AB contract until June 2029, about 18 months later.

I believe the above are some important things to consider, especially if the prices the two companies propose are close. My thanks to all on the Committee, who have labored long and diligently to bring this great benefit of TV with the options of Internet and/or telephone—all at unheard-of low prices—to Century Village. Please feel free, any of you who know better, to correct anything I have said.
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Good Post Lanny, perhaps a good article for the UCO Reporter. (DBI)
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