Local Competition in Laconia Cable TV Market Awaits Franchise Deal

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Comcast’s officials expressed they are hoping that they will be able to arrive at a deal with Laconia to give cable TV services. Recently, the Laconia City Council delayed vote upon a decade-long franchise agreement that would have let the fastest internet provider go into rivalry with its sole cable TV franchise holder, Atlantic Broadband.

The Gilford Board of Selectmen gave Comcast® a cable TV franchise in the town of Gilford. A sticking point recently come about in Laconia, where the City Councilor named Bruce Cheney wants its local safety officials, like the police or fire chief, to be able to intervene in programming should an emergency arises. That option is not part of Comcast’s proposal, but it is offered by the Atlantic Broadband company.

Comcast® spokesperson, Marc Goodman, did not comment on whether they would agree to the request of Bruce Cheney, but said that the cable company complies with the federal and state’s requirements for Emergency Alert System. He said that the officials of the company have had positive talks with the city, and are hopeful of coming to a deal that will meet the needs of it, of local business, residents, as well as the firm. Goodman also pointed out that an array of methods are there for emergency communication like text or phone notifications.

Bruce Cheney, former director of the State Division of Emergency Services and Communications, stated that he would wish to see a local competition in cable TV, but wants to see Comcast® work to fix his concerns concerning a local choice for emergency notification, else help with a potential phone-based system. He said, “I find it disingenuous to say you can’t do it. I guess I’m concerned. Do I want to approve a company that I don’t think is being accurate?”

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Cheney’s concerns have made the Laconia City Council table the issue at its recent meeting as well as recommend more assessment of its emergency notification issue at hand. In case the City Council eventually approves the ten-year franchise deal, Comcast® would pay it 9,600 dollars a year, or 96,000 dollars over the contract’s time.

Comcast® is one of the biggest cable providers in the United States of America. The company has a footprint in most markets and millions of cable TV customers. Laconia is one of those markets, where it expects to enter into a franchise agreement.

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