What cable service providers operate in the City of Newton?
The City of Newton is just one of 18 Massachusetts communities with competing cable service providers. Comcast and RCN are both licensed by the City of Newton to operate in its jurisdiction. Verzion has submitted an initial application to offer cable service in the City, and will be able to offer video service once an agreement is in place between the City and Verizon.
How do I contact them for service?
Comcast: T: 800/339-9992 comcast-ne.com
RCN T: 800/746-4726 rcn.com
Who do I contact to complain about a problem?
Contact your cable company at the number listed above and provide all pertinent information about your situation. When talking to your cable company, be sure to get the name of the people you talk with and keep copies of any correspondence from them. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, ask to speak with a supervisor.
If the problem continues unresolved, what is my next step?
If you are still not satisfied with the response from your cable company, you may contact the Citizen's Assistance Officer in the Mayor's Office at 617-796-1100.
Please be sure to include your name, the name of the person on the account, your telephone number on the account, and the address. Describe the problem clearly.
If the cable service is interrupted, could I obtain a refund?
Subscribers are eligible for a pro rata credit or rebate for service interrupted for 24 or more consecutive hours. Please contact your cable provider for a refund.
How do I obtain service if I live in a multiple dwelling unit?
If you live in a rental unit and there is not preexisting service, the landlord must authorize the cable provider to wire the building for cable access. If you live in a condominium, the association typically negotiates an agreement with one or both of the cable providers to deliver cable service to the residents.
Can the City negotiate a better rate?
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 deregulated ratemaking for all cable television rates except the basic service tier. The Cable Division of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy regulates rates for basic service tier. However, FCC has ruled that there is effective competition in Newton, disallowing rate regulation of basic service tier.
Does the City have any control over programming?
No. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the Unites States of America precludes any government body from exercising control over programming.
Are there any discounts for senior citizens?
There is a $2.00 discount off of basic service to eligible senior citizens. To qualify, a senior citizen must be (1) 65 years of age or older and head of the household and (2) must meet income requirements as demonstrated by receiving one of the following: Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid benefits, Massachusetts fuel assistance, Veteran's Service benefit, or participation in the Senior Pharmacy Program. Disabled persons living in housing subsidized by any Federal or State program(s) also qualify for the discount. Submit documentation to respective cable provider.
What are the additional fees noted on my bills?
The cable company pays the City of Newton a franchise fee for the use of the City's public rights-of-way for private enterprise. The franchise fee is five percent of the company's gross revenue as allowed under 47 U.S.C. 542. The franchise fee is used to support the local access channels, community technology initiatives, and the Newton Telecommunications Advisory Board.
Who handles local programming and how do I get involved?
Newton Communications Access Center, more commonly known as NewTV, is the entity that provides public, educational and governmental access programming through its TV studio and computer resource center in Newton Highlands. Residents of the City of Newton, members of Newton-based non-profit organizations, employees of Newton businesses, and City of Newton employees are eligible to use NewTV. This includes free use of TV production equipment and facilities, cable TV channel time, and training in TV production, media literacy, and Internet access. Anyone wishing to use NewTV facilities must become a member of NewTV, for a small annual fee.
NewTV can be reached by phone at 617-965-7200 or visit www.newtv.org.
Who should I contact if I have concerns about or objections to local programming?
NewTV has an appeals process written into its Rules and Procedures. The following is an excerpt from NewTV's Rules and Procedures, "Community producers and NCAC members are encouraged to resolve difficulties on the staff level. Any community producer or member wishing to appeal an action of the staff, or to communicate a problem or complaint should utilize the Memo to the Director form provided for this purpose, and thereby communicate this appeal or message to the Executive Director. After receipt, the Executive Director will provide a written response in 15 days or less. If the Member should be dissatisfied with the response, he or she may request a hearing before the NCAC Board of Directors, by contacting the Personnel Committee of NCAC."
How can I get cable information from the Federal Communications
Cable Service Bureau Fact Sheets are available for viewing at the FCC web site, at fcc.gov.
Is satellite service available in Newton?
Yes. Both of the following companies provide this service.
Is DSL service available in Newton?
Yes. Verizon offers DSL service, but only to locations within a certain distance of their central office. There are other DSL service providers; it is suggested that an internet search be conducted to review the options.
For more information contact the City's Telecommunications Planner at 617-796-1141.