Residents at two apartment complexes managed by the Galveston Housing Authority are without cable service. An editorial published Monday suggested that Comcast, rather that the housing authority, should own this problem.

Some readers said they’d been told by cable company officials that the housing authority didn’t even notify the private company until May that it was discontinuing billing.

The problem with that claim is that correspondence between the two parties is subject to the Texas Public Information Act. The file in this case includes a letter from the housing authority to the cable company, dated March 27, saying that it should make arrangements in April to bill customers individually.

Other readers say they were told by the cable company that individual billing was never part of the discussion. But, again, the public record just doesn’t support that claim.

Notice that the company, in replying to a request for proposal in December, included the option of billing the residents directly. Look at Appendix A under “Cost of Monthly Service.”

The two housing complexes are filled largely with senior citizens who rely heavily on television for entertainment. Seems like officials with the city council — not just with the housing authority — ought to be getting interested in this one.

(3) comments

Kevin Lang

Politicians and Cable Companies. Two entities that we wish we could count on for the honest-to-God-truth. No surprise that at least one is caught in the unfortunate web of deceit. I'm sure that Comcast has an excellent explanation for this errant communication. I'm sure that someone just misunderstood what the meaning of "was" was.

Bill Broussard

Here is one likely scenario Heber.
First, Council will look into it and get into the same ideological circular dispute they usually do if and when they do look into it. Pretty much can write the script for it now.

Once they dispute over class or race for a while (denying they are all the time) the gang of four will table the discussion in the interest of encouraging business to stay or come to the Island. Why, I bet Comcast translates into at least two jobs here! The folks who make up the four would look into it if there was either IDC money or HOT tax but if it’s just citizen misery, well………...let ‘em eat potholes!

Finally, the four will be vindicated because someone at ATT will hear about this mess, make a grand public relations gesture and just get the job done at the complex once again scalping Comast’s market share. I can hear the four now: “See, the laws of supply and demand and a free, ungoverned market place worked again! We need less contractual relationships with service providers, not more!”

My guess: If it is brought up at council, it will probably be brought up by Beeton or Pappous. Tough as they are, both have an eye for injustice.

Thanks for doing the leg work on this. Caught them red handed, you did.

Kevin Lang

I think it's time for most suburban or urban communities to quite giving telecommunications providers monopoly franchise agreements. Give them operating licenses, and let them duke it out on our doorsteps.

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