Galveston Housing Authority is right in the dispute about cable service. The problem at the root of this dispute belongs to Comcast.
The housing authority had been acting as a bill collector for the cable company. It collected the monthly fee for each apartment that contracted for service and sent payment on to the cable company.
However, Comcast sought a bulk agreement, which would have charged for every apartment at the housing authority’s two remaining complexes: Gulf Breeze and Holland House.
That’s a common practice at large, privately owned apartment complexes. But housing authority officials point out that federal laws prevent the agency for paying for entertainment services. The residents themselves can pay for that — the housing authority cannot.
Even if it weren’t against the law, the housing authority would be right in saying no to that arrangement.
There have been other points of disagreement between the housing authority and the cable company. But that’s the root of the problem.
Since May 1, residents of the island’s housing authority’s apartment buildings have been without cable and Internet service. Those buildings have 356 apartments, with few vacancies.
Cable companies, like other companies that have something of a monopoly within a city’s jurisdiction, operate under an agreement with the city. The city should use its powers to conduct its own inquiry if this dispute goes on much longer.