Salem reaches Comcast agreement - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Salem reaches Comcast agreement

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After a year and a half debate, in a four to one vote the city of Salem voted to once again sign a ten-year agreement with Comcast. The vote appeared half-hearted.

Council person Lisa Garst spoke out against the deal directly to Comcast representatives in the crowd.

"We will look for other options," Garst said. "We are not satisfied."

But for now, Comcast is the only major cable service provider option. The new agreement welcomes other competition but none have offered to compete. City Manager Kevin Boggess says the cost is too high to peak their interest.

"The issue really is the cost to enter the market," Boggess said. " So you look at verizon for example who would provide a similar product. The cost to come in and provide that overtop of Comcast service is what prohibits them from coming."

Over the past year Comcast has been under fire in the City of Salem by hundreds of people who are ready to change the channel, fed up with what they say is poor service.

Some of the major complaints are lack of programming, high prices and a low quality of customer service.

While the city has no way to affect the cost of service, Boggess says quality of service is something that the company has worked to fix.

"They've brought more fiber optic in and sent stronger signal further out in the system," Boggess said. " The quality is better from what we hear in most of Salem and in Roanoke County."

A small victory for Salem, the agreement requires that Comcast for the next two years will open up a service center in city limits.

Mayor Foley says Salem isn't satisfied with the service, but for now it's the best they can get.

"They could get up and walk out whenever they want." Foley said. " They essentially could walk away and we could actually have worse or nothing. This certainly isn't ideal but it's the best we are going to get."


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