City Councilor Colin F. LePage.
Haverhill city councilors are backing calls to reconvene the Haverhill Cable Advisory Board as, among other things, a voice to resolve issues affecting local subscribers to cable and internet access provider Comcast.
The council this week voted unanimously, on a motion by Councilor Colin F. LePage and seconded by Vice President Melinda E. Barrett, to ask Mayor James J. Fiorentini to regroup the advisory board in part, as Barrett said, “an ombudsman for the citizens of the city.”
“I’ve heard from a number of citizens that have run into being manhandled by customer service representatives from Comcast. And that’s just one of the issues. The contract for Comcast with the city is on the horizon and I think it would be prudent for us to have a committee up to speed on technologies and upcoming issues and the issues our citizens are having,” Barrett said.
Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan called upon public access provider Haverhill Community Television to address “constant complaints” he said he has received over the quality of their council meeting broadcasts.
“People can’t hear us, sometimes they can’t see us. And I don’t understand why our equipment can’t be replaced. I understand there’s a cost to that but we give them $800,000 a year out of the Comcast contract, I believe. I would hope they value us enough that they will see fit in the near future to do an assessment on what they can do to replace the equipment in this chamber. The coverage is awful and it needs to get better fast because I’m losing patience,” Sullivan said.
The request to Fiorentini is the council’s second attempt in the last 14 months to have the cable advisory board reactivated in advance of negotiations to a new cable contract for the city, as expected to come by 2019.