By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The city held its second hearing on cable television service on Monday night and heard again the support for Revere TV and the desire to have competition amongst cable providers, Comcast and RCN.
The first public hearing which covered Comcast was held Aug. 9. Comcast is the current cable service provider in Revere.
The Comcast cable provider contract expires March 18, 2018 and the city will have to negotiate one or two contracts. Regulations do allow the city to negotiate two contracts.
As part of the hearings discussion about rates and commercial programing cannot be held due to federal regulations. Revere TV (RTV) is a non-profit independent of the cable company, although the cable company provides funding.
Thomas Steel Jr., a representative from RCN, said he was pleased to hear that people want competition.
Moderator George Anzouni, of the cable advisory committee, invited people to come forward and speak.
â€œI just ask for the continued support of RTV,â€ said Matt Amato. â€œHigh definition would be good too.â€
RCN currently serves Boston’s 30 area municipalities, including Somerville and Wakefield. RCN is also in Chicago, Washington D.C. Metro, Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, New York City and Philadelphia. It offers the same service as Comcast â€” Internet, digital television and phone service.
Senior Center Director Steve Fielding asked to keep in mind the 13,000 senior citizens, manyÂ of whom watch the local cable channels for information. Residents of Revere can view local cable shows on channels 8,9 and 22.
Rachid Moukhabir said heâ€™d like to see better customer service with more affordable prices.
â€œRTV is the best thing that ever happened to Revere,â€ said Rose Napolitano, who also complained about how her cable bill from Comcast has gone up in the last six months.
Diana Cardona supports RTV and thinks it is a good opportunity for many cultures.
â€œUnited, weâ€™re strong. Keep RTV,â€ Cardona said.
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said he wants to make sure that RTV gets the proper funding. He also hopes that RCN will be able to provide more HD channels. Heâ€™d also like to see seniors get more than just 10 percent off basic cable.
â€œWe need competition,â€ said Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso, who shared that his monthly bill is $244 and does not include HBO. â€œMany of my constituents share the same pain.â€
â€œIâ€™m thrill RCN is thinking of coming to Revere,â€ said Ward 5 Councillor John Powers. â€œIf it becomes competitive then we can control the rates.â€