Millville council approves Mediacom franchise agreement

The Millville Town Council this week passed a resolution authorizing the execution of a cable franchise agreement between the town and Mediacom LLC, the third town in as many weeks to do so.

Echoing comments made at the other town’s council meetings, a number of residents spoke on July 9 about the lack of customer service from Mediacom and the lack of competition in the area.

Regina McNamara, who lives in Millville by the Sea, said she has lived there for 15 months and has had five visits from Mediacom.

“Their service is non-existent. I feel like I am being held hostage.”

She said the shutdown of her Internet service one day was blamed on too many people being on it at once. “What’s going to happen when we are fully developed? It would be nice to have a choice. Thank you for listening to me.”

A resident of nearby Coventry said he had talked to Verizon about FIOS and was told Verizon couldn’t go in and offer video there because Mediacom did.

“It is a non-exclusive agreement,” said Seth Thompson, the town solicitor. “If somebody else wanted to come into town, they could.”

Paul Weller of Millville by the Sea asked if they should start a petition to see if another company would come in.

“I can’t direct you either way” said Mayor Gerry Hocker. “But you can do that.”

Thompson again reiterated that it was a “non-exclusive agreement,” and another company could come in to apply for a franchise agreement.

“This doesn’t exclude anybody, but the Town isn’t in control of how the companies do business. This agreement allows you to have the choice if two businesses decided they wanted to come into town,” said Thompson. “This agreement allows for that possibility.”

Verizon representatives have told officials in other local municipalities that they do not have plans to bring FIOS service to the area, due to the infrastructure cost involved and the likelihood that it would get too few customers to justify that cost.

Also at this week’s council meeting, the council adopted the building construction standards in the International Building Code’s 2012 edition and the International Residential Code 2012 edition, with exceptions.

Thompson said it was more of a “housekeeping” issue because the town code referenced the 2003 edition and they wanted the code to reflect the updated version.

There will be no July council workshop in Millville. The next town council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13.