By: Sharon Aron Baron
As originally reported by Joe Morguess last week, many Kings Point residents discovered that their longtime cable company would soon be switched and on October 6, over 300 of them attended a meeting to find out more.
The Kings Point executive committee, which consists of three or four out of the 13 people on the board, had been negotiating over the past eight months with approximately seven different cable companies to obtain the best deal and service for over 8,500 residents in the community. On October 21, during the Clairmont Neighborhood meeting, Frida Gefter wrote this informative piece after Kings Point in Tamarac (KPIT) President Len Ronik outlined the cable contract with Advanced Cable as the new provider:
Back in November 2015, the KPIT Board solicited bids for a new cable contract because the current contract with Comcast is set to expire on September 30, 2017. Bids were obtained from AT&T, Hot Wire, Comcast, Atlantic Cable, and Advanced Cable. Negotiations resulted in the following monthly costs per household from each company:
Hot Wire $69.99
Advanced Cable $54.00
The current contract with Comcast assesses each household $35.62 a month which is part of the $104.00 KPIT Maintenance Fee. The current contract with Comcast was negotiated six years ago and is supplied through coaxial cable. New service by all of the bidders was based on the use of fiber optic cable, which is now the industry standard and from what Ronik stated is what federal government is requiring. As a result, Ronik noted that costs for this service have gone up. AT&T has not yet completed their survey regarding this in King’s Point. With the exception of Hot Wire, all of the bidding companies will be using category six fiber optic cable to provide service. Hot Wire in its bid used category five fiber optic cable.
Advanced Cable was recently acquired by Twin Points Cable and will pay KPIT over $2,300,000.00 to secure this contract. When asked what this money would be used for, Ronik advised those present that among other things, these funds would be used to install security cameras, replace the key card/ID system, and replace roofs on the main clubhouse & King’s Court buildings. The Clairmont Neighborhood meeting did not provide Mr. Ronik with an adequate forum to go into a detailed explanation of how these funds were earmarked for expenditure.
The new contract with Advanced Cable will begin on October 1, 2017 and will last for eight years. Ronik informed those present that the $35.62 monthly cable assessment as part of the KPIT $104.00 monthly fee will remain the same through the end of 2017. Therefore there will be no raise of the KPIT fee until 2018 when the monthly $54.00 cable fee will go into effect thus raising the KPIT monthly maintenance cost accordingly. Reiterating what was outlined below, he said that cable TV/internet or cable TV/phone are part of the bundled price. Under the current contract with Comcast only cable TV is covered. Internet and phone services are supplied at an additional cost. With the new contract, resident can add either telephone or internet for an additional $15.00 a month giving them phone, cable TV and internet.
To accommodate the new fiber optic line, installation personnel will have to go into each condominium to replace the coaxial cable. Ronik stated that this will begin in July of 2017. It is unknown at this time in what order each neighborhood will be queued. If a resident, year round or snowbird is unable to be present for the installation of the fiber optic cable, they will have to make an appointment with Advanced Cable to do this at a later time. Replacement of new cable boxes and modems should be a seamless one day event without an interruption of service. Old equipment will be replaced with new equipment on the same day, and residents will not have to go to Comcast to return the old materials.
Another part of the new contract will be an on-site staff at Kings Point five and a half days a week to handle customer service. Ronik stressed that with the new contract, there will be no charges for in-home service calls. All installation and equipment replacement work will be completed by October 1, 2017.