VIEWS: 24 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 11/21/2010
COLLIER COUNTY PRESIDENTS COUNCIL P.O. Box 8853, Naples, FL 34101-8853 PRESS RELEASE Contact: Paul Feuer Cable Alternatives Chair Phone: 513.1001 Date: October 22, 2010 Collier County Presidents Council Studies Cable Alternatives At the January 2010 meeting of the Collier County Presidents Council (CCPC) a number of members expressed their dissatisfaction with the fees that they were being charged by Comcast, as well as their quality of service. It was agreed to undertake a comprehensive study to determine if there were any alternatives to Comcast since it appeared they had a lock on the land line cable TV business in Collier County. Before doing so CCPC Chair Murray Hendel, a few Council members, and I met with Comcast to express our concerns. Comcast was steadfast in their position that their fees are reasonable and their service satisfactory. At the County's Property Owners Presidents meeting held in February, I raised the concern to one of the senior County officials, who agreed to look into the matter and get back to us. While we never heard from the County, Brent Batten wrote a column a few months ago suggesting that the County Commissioners were looking into the Comcast arrangement with the intent to obtain more competitive arrangements for County residents. Obviously, the CCPC was delighted with the substance of Brett's column. In the interim I began a series of interviews with a number of firms who were seeking an opportunity to compete for the business in our County. I coordinated the first presentation by the Pathworks Corporation for the CCPC in March, which was well attended by our members. As a matter of fact, the NDN ran an article about 3 weeks ago indicating that Huntington Lakes had awarded a contract to Pathworks. It's important to recognize that it is not the intent of the CCPC to endorse any particular firm. Our sole purpose is to serve as a conduit by enabling our members to be well informed as to what is available in the marketplace so that they can issue a well-defined request for proposal in the event they choose to competitively solicit for a bulk contract. On October 18 the Collier County Presidents Council sponsored presentations at Village Walk by three cable television firms--Axis Satellite, NuVu (Marco Island Cable), and Direct Plus. In attendance were over 40 participants representing 23 different county associations. The presenters were quite informative, as well as enlightening. While most of the participants’ concerns were wrapped around the fee and quality of service provided, it became apparent there are other factors which need to be taken into consideration. With the advent of HDTV and the ever-increasing use of high-speed internet, it seems that fiber optics is in and COAX cable is on its way out. At the same time, decisions need to be made regarding contracting for a bundle arrangement which would include cable TV, high-speed internet and possibly telephone service. I have also contacted Comcast and offered to have them make a presentation to the CCPC in the next few weeks. While it appears that associations can benefit from increased competition when soliciting for a bulk arrangement, regretfully the single homeowner living in a neighborhood such as Golden Gate has no fire power at this time unless the County can help out.
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