By Sue Ellen Woodcock
It was supposed to be a public hearing on the contract Comcast now has with the city as a cable provider. But the meeting turned into nothing but accolades for cable television studio Revere TV.
Sure a few people stood up to complain about Comcast cable television rates, but most focused on Revere TV and the benefits the station provides to the citizens.
The Comcast cable provider contract expires March 18, 2018. RCN, another cable provider, will appear for its public hearing on Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. in the city council chambers in Revere City Hall.
The cities Cable Television Board held a public ascertainment hearing last Wednesday evening, and it was well-attended.
Resident Ralph DeCicco said he thought the hearing should have been detailed differently when it was advertised.
â€œComcast should not be a monopoly. People canâ€™t afford it,â€ he said. â€œThis is not an issue with RTV, itâ€™s with Comcast to renew its license. Rates are dramatically up, and service is down.â€
The City of Revere has two areas with the cable provider that they cannot control. George Anzuoni, of the cities cable television board, said they have no control over rates charged or commercial programming Comcast does.
Steve Fielding, head of the Senior Center, said RTV is a lifeline for senior citizens and he would like to see RTV funding from Comcast remain.
â€œRTV is the best thing in this city,â€ said TV host and resident Morris Morris.
Resident Sam Felini was upset at the cost of Comcast.
â€œThe rates go up every year without fail,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s like a rubber stamp on the first bill at the beginning of the year. Thereâ€™s no competition. Weâ€™re locked in with Comcast.â€
One woman relayed how she has not been able to get Comcast because a previous, deceased tenant in her apartment had an outstanding bill. She brought in a petition of others who also cannot get Comcast in her building.
Rashid Moukhabir of the Moroccan community and Monse Hood of the Latino community both said that RTV helps get their voice out in the community.
â€œRTV is our voice and it benefits the city,â€ Hood said.
Resident Kathy Finkelstein said she has issues with Comcastâ€™s rates, interrupted service and the duplication of channels.
Others had issues with bundling service like television, internet and phone service.
â€œWeâ€™d be encouraged to bring another provider in,â€ said council Vice President Patrick Keefe. â€œWe do also want funding at the same levels for RTV.