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Atlantic Broadband looking to enter Morgantown market

MORGANTOWN — It looks as if Comcast Xfinity may get some competition for Morgantown’s cable subscribers.

Morgantown City Council will take up a cable franchise agreement with Atlantic Broadband this month.

The 10-year agreement would entitle Atlantic Broadband to the same access provided to Comcast, which has been the city’s lone franchisee since it signed a 15-year agreement in 2007.

City Attorney Ryan Simonton said the Comcast agreement will expire in 2022, adding, “but I think the city would anticipate that being renewed.”

The Atlantic Broadband agreement coming before council includes a 5% franchise fee, which Simonton said is the maximum amount permitted by law.

According to the agreement, the operator will provide the city 5% of the gross revenues derived from the operation of its cable system. It will provide those payments to the city quarterly.

Simonton said Atlantic Broadband approached the city last summer about entering the market.

If the a agreement is approved, the cable provider would have to build out a network capable of providing access to every city resident.

When possible, the company plans to use existing infrastructure.

“Our discussions with Atlantic Broadband have indicated they plan to collocate on existing poles in the area … On the poles that are already in place,” Simonton said.

According to their respective websites, Comcast is the largest and Atlantic Broadband is the eight largest cable provider in the United States.

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