Atlantic Broadband seeks to compete with Comcast

DOVER – Although Comcast has long been the only cable company in town, also providing high-speed Internet access, some competition could arise.

City council is considering a franchise deal with Atlantic Broadband, after the company expressed interest in Dover earlier this year.

At a city council workshop on Wednesday, July 7, representatives from Atlantic Broadband said that pending approval of the deal and the necessary pole and building permits, the company expects services will be available by December of this year or January 2022.

Although cable franchise agreements such as Comcast’s agreement with Dover are for cable television only, Atlantic Broadband offers to offer Internet and telephone service in the city.

Dover is considering an agreement with Atlantic Broadband.

Francis Bradley, director of government affairs for Atlantic Broadband, said the company plans to build a city-wide system using fiber-to-the-home technology, which he says offers high bandwidth. , low latency and high reliability. The company also said its system deploys a passive optical network, which relies less on electronic components and has fewer points of failure than a traditional coaxial cable network.

The city currently has a cable franchise agreement with Comcast, which expires in 2027.

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Mike Gillis, the city’s media services manager, said franchise agreements are not exclusive and other cable companies can negotiate a deal at any time, adding that multiple providers can operate simultaneously. Although this does not happen often, due to the infrastructure construction of a new cable system that must take place for a competitor to enter a new market, Gillis said it has happened before. in Rochester. A few years ago, Comcast struck a deal with Rochester, which already had a deal with Metrocast, which was later bought out by Atlantic Broadband.

“The most important competitive advantage is that when you have competing services, you are more likely to see consumer benefits, which can mean lower prices or improved service,” said Gillis. “Businesses will be fighting for the same customer and they will have to demonstrate and convince people why they should choose their particular service over a competitor.”

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In anticipation of the availability of cable, internet and telephone services through a newly built system, the company told city council it will launch a marketing campaign in Dover soon.

The city plans to hold a public hearing on the eventual Atlantic Broadband deal on Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, which will be followed by a city council vote on July 28.


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