Residents in the city of Dover may soon have another option when it comes to who provides their cable services.

The city council will consider a resolution during Wednesday night's meeting for a cable franchise agreement with Atlantic Broadband.

Dover currently has a nonexclusive cable franchise agreement with Comcast. That agreement expires in 2027, according to city officials.

Cable franchise agreements only pertain to cable television, but Atlantic Broadband would also provide internet and phone service for Dover residents and business owners.

City councilors heard a presentation during a workshop on the topic on July 7. At that time, City Manager Michael Joyal said Atlantic Broadband had approached them a couple of months ago with the idea of offering services.

Director of Media Services Michael Gillis said they are often asked why the city only uses one provider.

"We don't choose a provider. We enter into an agreement with a franchise that is in the community, in this case, Comcast, and we have been with Comcast, or they have been in this community, for decades starting out as Continental Cablevision," Gillis told the council.

Gillis explained that because the cable franchise agreements are nonexclusive, any provider could build out a network if they see value in moving into a community. Often, there is not enough of a market to make that worth their while.

For example, Comcast moved into Rochester in 2018 because they could foresee the financial investment as being worthwhile.

A public hearing on the proposed cable franchise agreement was held during the Dover City Council meeting on July 14, but nobody spoke for it or against it.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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