Friday, September 28, 2018

Cox Communications Should Be Expanding Service In Gloucester County? This is what we found in federal law.


There are a lot of residents in Gloucester who are upset because of the lack of internet access throughout the County. There are even more residents who do not understand why Cox Communications has not expanded cable service throughout the County. Don’t get me wrong, Cox will extend service to anyone who can pay for it and when I say pay for it, we mean thousands, tens of thousands and even more dollars in some instances to install cable to a single residence.



The question is; can anything be done about it? According to federal law governing cable franchises, it appears there is something that can be and should have been done for many years. Title 47, Chapter 5, Subchapter V-A, Part III, Paragraphs 3 and 4, of the United States Code state in part:



 (3) In awarding a franchise or franchises, a franchising authority shall assure that access to cable service is not denied to any group of potential residential cable subscribers because of the income of the residents of the local area in which such group resides.

(4) In awarding a franchise, the franchising authority—

(A) shall allow the applicant's cable system a reasonable period of time to become capable of providing cable service to all households in the franchise area;

(B) may require adequate assurance that the cable operator will provide adequate public, educational, and governmental access channel capacity, facilities, or financial support; and……..



We are not lawyers and are not rendering legal advice, but it certainly looks like Gloucester’s local government has the authority under federal law to require Cox to expand their cable services throughout Gloucester. If this is in fact true; why, in all the years Cox has provided service in Gloucester, hasn’t Gloucester’s local government pushed the issue of expansion? There could be any number of reasons, but the important question today is; will the current Board of Supervisors look out for the interests of Gloucester residents or will they continue to lookout for Cox Communication’s interests?



The Public Hearing to renew Cox’s cable franchise on October 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the Colonial Courthouse is the time and place to share your concerns with the Board of Supervisors. Some may think the franchise agreement is a done deal and nothing can be done about it. That is not true. Federal law requires cable providers to submit franchise renewal requests a full three years in advance of the expiration of the most current agreement. The current agreement does not expire until sometime in 2021, therefore there is plenty of time for negotiations. If Cox and the Board of Supervisors are not challenged at the public hearing, nothing will improve. All who can attend the public hearing should attend and all who cannot should at least contact the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors at: BOS@gloucesterva.info 



It may also be a good idea to contact the big wigs at Cox Communications’ corporate office to share your concerns about the cable service they do and do not provide. It appears taking this route resulted in success for at least one Gloucester resident.



Cox Communications’ President’s contact information is:        

Cox Communications Inc
Mr Patrick J. Esser
President


Email


Telephone
404-269-7100 (Direct)
Switchboard
404-843-5000
Website

Postal Address
1400 Lake Hearn Dr, Atlanta, GA, 30319M


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The link to the United States Code pertaining to cable franchises is:           

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