Macek: WHAV Part of Solution to Cable TV Problem

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.

5 thoughts on “Macek: WHAV Part of Solution to Cable TV Problem

  1. You don’t want to go with other cable companies unless they will be competition to Comcast. Comcast may have it’s problems but they really are the best as far as copper goes. You don’t realize it until you start dealing with other companies. Comcast business. $69 bucks for 50 mbps by 10. Time Warner $219 for 50/5. Cox is ok but it just doesn’t have the internet performance of Comcast. I’ve had them for business and Comcast is the most reliable, best performance, and best pricing. So, if you want to bring someone else in, bring in someone running fiber, not copper. Whoever you bring in should offer 1 gig internet for under a hundred bucks a month. Even Fairpoint is doing that in the few places where they have fiber. TDS Telecom and Vermont Tel also use fiber and may be interested in coming to Haverhill. I don’t see where another cable company makes any sense.

  2. A lot of the times municipalities shoot themselves in the foot by demanding large sums of money or other gifts from the wired broadband provider. This is exactly why Verizon did not also build out FiOS fiber in Lowell, who was demanding absurd things like free fire engines and so forth, even though the potential customer per mile of fiber is larger than rural municipalities that do enjoy fiber withess customers per mile. When cities like Lowell and Haverhill make excessive greedy demands from the telecom company, the telecom company finds it financially unsustainable to do the build out with reasonable ROI , and then the citizen suffer lack of competition and the city gets littered with satellite dishes on every other house. It’s municipal greed and it’s wrong. Wired TV regulation needs to be shifted away from municipal regulation and to state and/or federal regulation, just like phone and internet service, as well as satellite TV, satellite internet, and 4G wireless.

  3. Regarding Comcast’s association with HCTV, it’s about time that the City becomes actively involved in this scheme and searches around for an alternative cable company so customers have choices. Comcast charges are increasing just about every month and I resent having a VERY HIGH rake-off of my monthly bills being sent to HCTV only to be told they have nearly a million dollars hanging around to pay for a second facility at Harbor Place….. REALLY….. It is the customer who pays through the nose so everyone can make out like bandits from the monthly fees that we must pay in order to obtain service.

    This morning I bought my own cable modem and returned my rented cable modem to Comcast. Why pay ad infinitum for a modem that can be purchased and then you are finished with it.

    • Here! Here! I’m with you SlipperCity! Councilor Macek makes an excellent point too about how HCTV is going to pay its bills if we all switch to another TV provider. I guess I’ll have to listen to the city council meetings over station WHAV FM.

      • I have no use for community television. I’m not going to watch it, at least on not cable, maybe on the internet but I have no use for television. I don’t really care what happens. People put their own TV programs online using relatively inexpensive equipment. The city council and others who want to broadcast can do the same thing. Who needs Haverhill Community TV unless it can support itself. If it can’t, it’s isn’t needed. I agree, WHAV FM and their stream can do the job. They can even include video if they want to on the internet that can be viewed on people’s phones. I’d rather see a non-profit like WHAV do the job. Why should the city get any money from Comcast. If a company wants to come in and offer only internet, the city doesn’t get anything. Satellite customers don’t pay. Why should Comcast? I think that WHAV will be able to fill any needs that Haverhill Community TV fills and do it without extorting money from Comcast. If I am not mistaken, Comcast willingly carries WHAV audio.