Residents of the city of Dover may soon have another option when it comes to who provides their cable services.
City council will consider a resolution at Wednesday night’s meeting for a cable franchise deal with Atlantic Broadband.
Dover currently has a non-exclusive cable franchise agreement with Comcast. This agreement expires in 2027, according to city officials.
The cable franchise deals are only for cable TV, but Atlantic Broadband would also provide internet and phone service to Dover residents and business owners.
City councilors heard a presentation during a workshop on the theme of July 7. Around this time, City Manager Michael Joyal said Atlantic Broadband approached them a few months ago with the idea of offering services.
Media services director Michael Gillis said they are often asked why the city only uses one provider.
“We don’t choose a provider. We make a deal with a franchise that’s in the community, in this case, Comcast, and we’ve been with Comcast, or they’ve been in that community, for decades starting with Continental Cablevision. Gillis told the board.
Gillis explained that since cable franchise agreements are not exclusive, any provider can create a network if they see fit to locate in a community. Often there isn’t enough market to make it worth it.
For example, Comcast moved to Rochester in 2018 because it could foresee that the financial investment was worth it.
A public hearing on the draft cable franchise agreement was held at the Dover city council meeting on July 14, but nobody spoke for or against.
Contact editor-in-chief Kimberley Haas at [email protected]