Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fight The Power

CAC Chair Dee Shabazz tells Select Board current contract offer is "disappointing"

The anti-corporate stand up for the little guy (and gal) attitude New Englanders are famous for was on full display at last nights' lengthy Select Board meeting as our executive branch voted unanimously to fight the current Comcast ten year cable franchise renewal offer and to send a message to Berkshire Gas to end the current moratorium on new gas hook ups that hurts our downtown.

To the cheers of the Cable Advisory Committee in the audience the SB instructed the Town Manager to tell Comcast the town is unhappy with the current final offer because the one time $950,000 capital allotment is too low and not bringing HD to our local cable access channels is unacceptable.



In the 2006 contract Comcast allocated $450,000 (or $538,000 in today's dollars) in one time capital allowance but much of the infrastructure equipment was already dated and now needs to be replaced.

Amherst Media requested $2.2 million and at yesterday's CAC meeting Director Jim Lescault said even with the draconian cuts to reach the new $950K target he is still shy $230,000.

The capital monies in question are "pass along" costs to the 7,000 Amherst Comcast customers and at $950K would amount to $1.24 monthly which is an increase of 36 cents from the current 86 cents per month.

The contract expires in mid-October but the Select Board has a September 26th drop-dead deadline to officially respond to the current Comcast offer.

Amherst now relies on the Comcast iNet infrastructure for telephones and Internet, so if the system should go dark in October it will send the town back into the stone age.

10 comments:

Walter Graff said...

What a waste of money!!! Does anyone in this town even know what HD is, or should I say isn't?

Anonymous said...

HD is a plot to get people to spend more money on something that is nothing. Same thing as bundling that the cable company came up with. In the end YOU pay more and get NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

Why would you need the local broadcast to be HD? To broadcast the selectboard?

Anonymous said...

Anticorporate New England. Ha. That is a good one. Look at your laws lately? In the last 50 years? My sense is no, in order to make such a comment.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding! Pay more to see the locals in HD? Now that is a farce.

Walter Graff said...

Exactly. Amherst public access could buy fantastic equipment in today's market for far less than they are suggesting. As a person who has designed built a hundred studios for everyone from ESPN to local markets it seems clear that someone either doesn't know what they are talking about, or has ulterior motives.

Dr. Ed said...

I noticed that it was Larry's Iphone that produced the breaking news video of the Geryk vote. Perhaps some of the AM money should go to Larry....

Dan Nachbar said...

It's time to end this absurd ritual and follow Leverett et al into the fibre-connected world.
With the advent of over-the-top video streaming services (sling.com, hbonow.com, etc) "cable TV" is simply obsolete.

Given the timing, we're probably stuck with Comcast for one more cycle.
But it's time to start laying the groundwork so that this is the very last time we go through this insanity.

Chris Poulin said...

Obstriticulous

Chris Poulin said...

Amherst MA.obstriticulously pretentious land of brainwashed socialist