After more than a year of stonewalling, Comcast has finally come up with a specific proposal to bring cable to Chappaquiddick, but it’s a nonstarter.
Residents would need to come up with a minimum of $1,500 and more likely $3,800 just for the privilege of getting service. The lower price is based on the highly dubious assumption that everyone eligible would sign up. That already steep number doesn’t include the regular monthly cable television fee of $57 and additional tie-in charges for people whose houses are set back from the road.
To top it off, Comcast says it would need at least forty per cent of eligible residents to sign on to offer the service at all. At $3,800 a pop, that’s not likely.
We’d like to feel encouraged by the fact that Comcast has finally addressed service to Chappaquiddick as part of the long-running negotiations to renew Comcast’s cable television franchise agreement for another decade, but it’s difficult to see this proposal as anything more than a negotiating ploy.
So far the cable advisory board — with representation from all six towns — has wisely insisted that service to Chappaquiddick is a critical component of the contract renewal. Agreeing to a proposal that technically addresses the issue, but makes the service cost-prohibitive, would be no victory.
We urge the board to stand firm.