HOW THINGS ARE SHAPING UP
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.