This Is our Village

Sunday, April 2, 2017



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.


  1. All the opponents to getting AB have been the same ones complaining about raising fees for anything, so it surprises me that they are so against Atlantic Broadband. Is it possibly because the name has the word broadband in it and they associate broadband with WiFi and the President of UCO, David Israel?
    Not only do I think it is possible, I believe it to be very likely. Ignorance about the facts are one thing, but when the facts are laid out in front of you and you still prefer the poorest choice, the one that is going to cost more, the one that is going to charge you for every call for repair or just to check a problem, the one that (for those that want internet) is going to charge over 62 dollars if you don't sign up from day one, then my friends, that is poor judgment (not the word I really want to use...).

  2. It takes time for people to change their minds, Bob, especially those who haven't kept up with the very latest. I keep up (or try to) partly because I write for the Reporter. And then of course Joy Vestal cracks the whip. "No more nappy time!" she will say. We are fortunate to have so many, like you and Bella, who give so much of themselves and their time to the Village affairs, but we cannot expect this of everyone. Other people do other needful things.

    Another reason I favor Atlantic Broadband (AB) is because of their guarantee—newly obtained by the Committee's request—to have their work done on time. It will be written into the contract that should they be delayed, they will foot the bill for the difference between what we would have paid them and the amount charged by Comcast for a continuation beyond the June 2019 expiration date. But aside from this, AB is HIGHLY MOTIVATED to complete the project of getting fiber-optic to us on two counts: (1) We are the big prize (7854 residences) at the end of their main line; and (2) their main line to us makes possible branch lines to the many communities between North Miami and here to subscribe to their growing communications business.

    I joke about Joy, of course. Actually I have too much fun working under her and Myron Silverman.


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