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South Boston Council Tables Vote On Comcast

South Boston Town Council deferred a vote on the proposed cable franchise agreement with Comcast at its monthly meeting on Monday, instead adopting a “wait and see” attitude regarding an announcement by Comcast concerning the advent of high definition service and other channel changes in South Boston. Instead, council approved a substitute motion to consider adoption of the cable franchise agreement at its May 10 meeting.

That is almost three weeks after channel changes announced by Comcast are expected to go into effect (“on or about April 22,”) including high definition service.

The town’s legal counsel and town staff had recommended approval of the franchise agreement, which has been the subject of debate for several months among council members.

Council had cited numerous customer complaints regarding Comcast, including the absence of high definition service and an on-screen channel guide.

In a letter to Town Manager Ted Daniel, Paul Comes, director of Government Affairs for Comcast, announced new programming and channel changes coming to South Boston in April, “bringing our subscribers greater choice and an enhanced customer experience.”

Comes said in his letter that Comcast customers will receive notice of these changes via newspaper advertisement and a direct mail piece or bill message.
Comes noted in his letter that in order for subscribers to view digital programming, digital equipment would be required.

“Customers who currently subscribe to Standard Service or Limited Basic Service can add a digital box for no additional charge for 12 months,” Comes said in the letter to Daniel.

Comcast listed the addition of four channels to Limited Basic Service, seven channels to Limited Basic with HD Service, three to Digital Starter and 33 to Digital Starter with HD Service.

Digital Classic Service will add nine channels, Digital Classic with HD Service will add five channels, and Digital Preferred Service and Digital Preferred with HD Service will add one channel apiece.

Premium Channel Service will add three channels, Premium Channel with HD Service will add four channels, the Sports Entertainment Pack will add 10 channels, and the Sports Entertainment Pack with HD Service will add one channel, according to Comcast.

Comcast notes that digital equipment is required to view some of the channels, and that HDTV equipment and an HDTV is required to view HD channels.

Nichols Appointed To Improvement Council

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Carolyn Nichols to a new two-year term on the Halifax County Improvement Council.

Nichols fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Viny Sarnataro.