Amherst Media is also currently looking for a new home
The Cable Advisory Committee, that once every ten year entity, is about ready to send out the Request For Proposal to Comcast for the renewal of their ten year franchise agreement worth over $6 million per year to the corporate giant.
Based on the desires of subscribers heard over two ascertainment hearings the Committee will be requesting $2.2 million in one time capital outlay to replace cameras, computers, routers, as well as replacing the entire transmission line for Amherst Media, our local access TV provider.
Ten years ago that amount was only $450,000 but the transmission lines were not then part of the renovations. And while it's hard to calculate exactly, if approved Comcast will pass along that cost to subscribers and it will be in the $2/month range.
The Select Board will hold a public hearing after Comcast responds to the RFP, which will have a 30 day deadline.
The general public can then weigh in on whether they still support the change and/or improvements to service they requested knowing what it will cost them over the next ten years.
Last night the Amherst Select Board authorized Amherst Media to spend their own money ($18,000) on an audit of Comcast. This morning the Cable Advisory Committee requested their attorney to go ahead with hiring a consultant to do that two year audit, even though he previously opined against it.
In addition the CAC will be sending a memo to new Temporary Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner requesting he persue UMass over a possible illegal cable franchise.
UMass switched from town approved Comcast to Charter a few years ago for the 13,000 or so students who use cable and the Amherst Select Board never granted them a license.
Something that costs Comcast $300,000 per year.
Bottom left: Steven Brewer, President Amherst Media Executive Committee and Alisa Brewer Chair Amherst Select Board attended this morning's CAC meeting