To the Editor:
At a recent Town Board meeting, a councilperson indicated that he thought the contract with Cablevision (Optimum) for the Town of Shelter Island comes up for renewal this year.
I urge the board to take this opportunity seriously and negotiate a contract that helps all Islanders in this regard.
As a customer of Cablevision, I have many complaints and problems with Optimum. The rates are outrageously high. The surcharges are terrible, such as a $10 per month “rental” charge for each box in your home, no matter how long you have had the box.
We are forced to take channels we do not ever use and channels that we want we are charged “extra” for. They drop channels that we have been watching and paying for and then list them as separate channels at extra charges. I could go on and most customers can as well.
The argument that the Town Board gave was, “What choice do we have?” Actually, we have many choices. We can get an “indoor antenna” that captures TV signals out of the air and there is no monthly charge. See Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna, as only one example.
We can use Roku connections, get Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and many, many more television services at a much cheaper rate, usually about $10 per month each. One of the more comprehensive views of cable alternatives at much cheaper prices can be found at cutcabletoday.com.
So I ask our board to form a committee of cable customers to help negotiate a new contract that benefits all of us. The board should not simply accept a one time payment to the town that customers will never see for a new contract. If the board wants further input, I encourage them to survey cable customers on Shelter Island as to what we want to see in a new contract.
Getting our share
To the Editor:
Cable TV franchise fees are governed by Section 622 of the Federal Cable Act.
Under Section 622, municipalities are entitled to a maximum of 5 percent of gross revenues derived from the operation of the cable system for the provision of cable services. I suggest that a predicate for a new agreement be that Shelter Island demand the full 5 percent from Cablevision.
SCOTT A. ROBBINS