City Asks Comcast for Veterans, Senior Discounts, Haverhill Offices

Cable TV Advisory Committee Chairman William Gould. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill Cable TV Advisory committee and Chairman William Gould have been in negotiations with Comcast since September to form a new contract with the company in anticipation of the current contract expiring next April. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill’s Cable TV Advisory committee is hoping to bring senior and veteran discounts on Comcast subscriptions and nearly $2 million in capital needs, amongst other requests, to the city after discussions over its contract with the cable provider continued Wednesday night.

Members of the committee, headed by Chairman William Gould, worked together with city negotiator, attorney William H. Soloman, to make a series of requests to Comcast Senior Manager Robert F. Sullivan concerning the city’s new contract with the company, as Haverhill’s current contract is set to expire this April.

The bulk of their requests revolve around asking for $1.9 million for capital needs, such as upgrading local channel equipment, and five percent of the revenue from Comcast TV subscriptions in Haverhill for operations costs. Soloman argued these figures were fair because the committee did not ask for any capital dollars last year.

Committee member Bill MacArthur suggested to Sullivan that he explore bringing veteran and senior discounts on Comcast subscriptions into Haverhill. Sullivan said Comcast now offers these discounts as a part of their Internet Essentials program and will work to raise awareness of the program in the city.

Amongst the other requests of Sullivan were a high-definition channel for Haverhill’s public access network, HC Media, and continued direct internet connectivity between city buildings. Gould also mentioned the possibility of bringing Comcast offices closer to Haverhill after the company’s offices located in Haverhill and Lawrence closed down in March of last year. Haverhill residents have instead had to drive to Methuen for service, something Gould says he hopes can be resolved, saying “It’s an inconvenience to have it this far away.”

Sullivan said after the meeting he will take into account the suggestions made to him and reveal his offer to Soloman soon after. The committee is expected to meet again in mid-January to continue these discussions.