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Comcast Trying to Get Rid of Public Service Obligations in Vermont

Phillip Dampier August 3, 2017 Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband 2 Comments

A requirement that Comcast must operate in the public interest of the people of Vermont may result in the cable company filing suit against the state.

Comcast is upset about the state’s “Certificate of Public Good,” which puts a responsibility on Comcast to support Vermont’s public access channels, include their programming lineups in electronic program guides, and expand service with 550 additional miles of cable line extensions over 11 years.

Comcast lobbied the Vermont Public Utility Commission to drop the requirements, but their request was turned down last week.

“We are disappointed the Vermont Public Utility Commission chose to deny our motion for important amendments necessary to fairly compete in Vermont,” Comcast spokeswoman Kristen Roberts told Vermont Public Radio. “We are still reviewing the order and have not yet determined our next steps.”

Comcast told the Commission upgrades would be costly and cumbersome, particularly because many of its systems in the state were acquired from Adelphia, a cable company that declared bankruptcy in 2002 as a result of executive corruption. Most of its cable systems, some in disrepair, were sold to Time Warner Cable and Comcast, who were forced to commit additional funding to upgrade them soon after the acquisitions were complete.

The Commission was not impressed with Comcast’s arguments, suggesting the requests in the Certificate were achievable and given a long lead time to complete.

Comcast may appeal the order in court.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Josh says:

    I “love” the excuses. Was someone FORCING them to buy these systems?

  2. Dan says:

    I wonder if much thought was given in the Adelphia days to the need for fiber backhaul between cable systems to support internet. Or were systems mostly traded in late night poker games? “I’ll see yer Mississippi and raise you Vermont.”







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