During a discussion of residents’ lack of access to broadband Internet Tuesday night, Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek said the forthcoming WHAV FM is part of the solution.
Council President John A. Michitson placed the item on the agenda after hearing complaints from residents about Comcast’s high prices and lack of competition.
“We are going to be getting a local radio station very soon. Tim Coco has been granted an FM license and WHAV FM will be hitting the airwaves, I would guess, within hopefully in this year,” Macek said.
“He has pulled off to get that FM license something that was close to an impossibility. I give him a lot of credit for what he’s accomplished in being granted that license,” Macek said.
Michitson said people want to know about Verizon Fios and would like competition. He said Mayor James J. Fiorentini has lobbied Verizon, but the company indicated it is waiting to become profitable in the communities it already serves.
“They will help us if the opportunity arises again,” Michitson said of Fios.
Councilor William H. Ryan said of Comcast’s local dominance, “it does have the appearance of anti-trust.” Comcast has “really got the city in a stranglehold,” he said, suggesting a complaint be sent to the state Department of Public Utilities.
Councilor Macek also suggested Fiorentini reactivate his cable television committee and possibly invite other cable bidders such as Cox and RCN. He said Haverhill Community Television should be involved since “they’re spending a million dollars for a building downtown” that’s dependent on Comcast fees.
Here are Macek’s complete remarks.