Aquarius and Comcast/Xfinity: New Agreement is not very far away
Out of the 12 TV and Internet services providers in our area Aquarius Board of Directors invited 3 vendors to offer their proposals. AT&T, Atlantic Broadband and Comcast/Xfinity presented their offerings.
Comcast/Xfinity was considered the best offer. The final contract is in advanced phase of detail pending some plans review and Aquarius Legal counsel exam. What is new and it is likely to happen?
Highlights of the Contract
All information subject to change. This is provided as a general headsup and can not be considered final until the contract is signed.
|Service||New Contract||Existing Contract|
|Cost (rounded)||$ 70 plus tax||$ 30|
|Term||5 years from 2018||Expired|
|TV Channels Line up||200 channels and music||same|
|High Definition Serv. 1080 or 720||Included||no|
|Internet||60 Mbps included||no|
Equipment part of the Contract with Comcast
|Equipment – included no cost||New Contract||Existing Contract|
|DVR Set Top Box records programs||1||no|
|Set Top Box||1 (access DVR recording)||1|
|DTA||1 HD Capable||2 Standard Definition 480|
|Operating System||X1 with voice recognition included||X1 the same but requires DVR box, additional fee|
Additional Services not in the contract but available:
|Additional Services available: All optional requiring additional fees that are responsibility of the individual owner/resident.|
|Premium Channels: Starz, Showtime, Cinemax etc.||Cost varies, bundles, promotions change every month.|
|Foreign Channels: broad selection and larger TV line up||Cost varies, per region, per country, per package|
|Higher Speed Internet||higher speed higher cost|
|Land Line Telephone, per line||$25|
|Additional TV outlets||Cost TBA|
|Surveillance/Security Services||Cost TBA|
|Sign up bonus||$150 per household|
|Annual Cost Escalation clause||Up to 4% per year|
|Installation services||$ 200.000 (two hundred thousand dollars) to bring cables inside the building according City Code. Cost to be covered entirely by Comcast. No onus to Aquarius.⊗|
|Installation services||To done as part of the contract improving the actual external cables and boxes.|
⊗ Comcast offered this as part of the Contract Renewal with Aquarius to make a code complaint installation of all cabling to be brought inside the building. Comcast set aside, out of their own “Construction” budget $200.000.00 (two hundred thousand dollars) that is being left on the table. Some members of the Board did not approve this work for the reason that inside the apartments this new installation could disrupt the decoration. Their assumption being that the new cables would run outside the walls and not inside the walls.
To run any cables inside the walls the solution is “fishing” the cables as any competent installer could do. A project like that would could run as high as $ 150.00 depending on the complexity of the job.
What is being done instead? The cables will continue to run along the external walls of the property and Comcast will install new cable canopies to hide the cables.
Some Questions people ask:
When the new contract is going to be signed? There is not fixed date but it could occur before 60 days.
AT&T has wired fiberglass the entire building. What will happen with this installation? This network is available for any individual to contract with AT&T. AT&T services are an additional option for any owner. At the moment the offer of both companies are very similar. The future may bring developments such as gigabit internet speeds that one of the vendors would not offer. Technology moves at very rapid pace. Options are good.
If I do not want any additional service besides the package being negotiated by Aquarius will I still get an individual bill from Comcast/Xfinity? No. You will not pay anything else. All the cost will be included in your Regular Assessment (maintenance).
Presently the cables coming into my apartment unit run outside and far away from the existing canopies. Will my internal cables be changed? In order to avoid the cables running wild around the building the entry point must be very close to the canopies. If this is not your case the answer is possibly yes. But the “fishing”(running the cables inside the wall or under the molding) is always a possibility. This would hide any cable to inside the walls. It is expected that Comcast will do some “cable fish.” If this does not occur any competent electrician can complete the project is a few hours and for a reasonable cost.
I understand that the future of cable TV is fiber. Comcast still has very little fiberglass services. At Aquarius they are offering not fiber. Are we running the risk of hiring obsolete technology? It is true that fiber seems to be the direction of the industry and wireless is going to 5G LTE – so TV programming could arrive via these vehicles in a few years. In any case Comcast has made great advances with DOCSIS 3.1 platform. Comcast is already able to provide gigabit speeds in the internet and handle Ultra High Definition 4K programing. Aquarius is not likely to suffer from any technological obsolescence by hiring Comcast as it internet/TV service provider — at least in the next five years.
I have my own modem and my own router. What happens now? Comcast will provide, as part of the contract, new Set Top TV boxes, DVRs, DTAs and Modem/Router (WI-FI wireless enabled). All this equipment is part of the agreement and its cost is part of the contract. Probably there will be little use for the equipment you now own.
There is some mention to fish the cables, could we have an exemple? Check the video clip: