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Cablevision Contract Approved in Hopatcong

New deal will be for 10 years.

The Hopatcong Borough Council approved a 10-year cable television franchise contract with Cablevision of Morris LLC on Wednesday night.

Under the contract, which is with the current provider, Cablevision will pay the borough two percent of gross revenues, or roughly $54,000 a year, for the life of the contract, Borough Administrator Robert Elia said.

Resident Michele Guttenberger questioned the length of the contract at 10-years. She thought a 5-year contract might be suitable.

Mayor Sylvia Petillo said the borough was comfortable with a 10-year contract. Cablevision was the only company that expressed an interest in serving Hopatcong, she said.

The company provides free cable service to Borough Hall and all of the schools, and offers seniors a 10 percent rate discount, she added.

Petillo said Verizon was contacted and said they were not interested in bidding on the contract.

Councilman Richard Bunce said that Fios service from Verizon is available through a telephone line and residents can choose to use satellite television.

If the borough did not give Cablevision the franchise, they would still have customers in Hopatcong, and the borough would not collect the franchise fee, Bunce said.

Frazure December 06, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Cablevision = poor quality service delivery, sporadic outages, poor equipment quality control - then to add to the misery, high prices and no direct competition.
Michele Guttenberger December 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Has history shown that our Mayor, Council and Administrator have negotiated the best deals for our borough? NOT! Did they consult with the citizens in our town that have publically stated they were subject matter experts in IT and Telecommunications and freely offered their expert advice? NO they did NOT. With great hubris they know what is best despite letters sent to their office to consider the terms of this contract and pleas to make addendums to it. But it appears that our Borough Administrator Robert Elia did not make any modifications, negotiations or changes to this contract and just rubber stamped the deal for 10 years. For this we pay him a professional salary to manage our borough contracts. That is a hefty price for a rubber stamp. The ordinance was just approved for this Cablevision agreement but the ink was well dry on this contract and it appeared it was a done deal before the formal approval by the council. So what of my public comment. We are stuck with a 10 year contract and there is no incentive for Cablevision to improve their franchise services to the borough of Hopatcong because its locked in and they have 10 YEARS in the bag. In my own years in project management and contract analysis in the telecommunication industry, I have not seen a 10 year business deal, but that is the business world. Hopatcong's doesn't follow traditional business practices on contracts. Thanks to our tax dollars that pay the wages of the top notch borough mgmt - NOT!
Joanne December 06, 2012 at 11:10 PM
You could be stuck in along contract with Service Electric Cable Company like we are here in Sparta. The worse cable company ever!! I would love to have Cablevision. Stop your complaining! You don't know how good you have it!
Josh Dubnick December 06, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I don't know what services a town like Hopatcong can get out of a cable company but one thing that I wish the council had pushed hard for is to have the cable system be self-powered. (like the copper phone lines). As many of learned during the Sandy outage (or last year aftrer Irene or the snow storm), even with a generator, you may have no cable service. While TV may not be a necessity, a telephone is and both TV and Internet allow one to remain informed about the progress of restorations (especially since JCP&L relies almost exclusively on their website and social media for communication) Of course, you'd have to find a way to get power to your modem but if you have a generator, UPS or inverter, you should be able to power up your modem and use your phone or get online. Although I saw Cablevision around town with portable generators, I believe that the contract should require this or another solution to keep the cable system up and running during JCP&L's many outages.
The Watcher December 07, 2012 at 05:13 AM
@Joanne why should anyone be "stuck" with a long contract? @Josh assuming you were informed that the contract was being voted on did you make your concerns known to the mayor and council? Looks like now we are STUCK with the cable company and more questionable (at best) decisions by our mayor and council.
Mikey December 07, 2012 at 11:31 AM
What's this about a 10% senior discount? Where is it documented? I can't find anything on the hopatcong or cablevision web sites. It is not real if no one knows about it!
Wendy Rossy December 20, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Today is December 20. I was just given a present by Cablevision...my bill was raised $10. Merry Christmas!
Frazure December 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Mikey - Apparently you have to inquire about it - I could not find it published anywhere. I called CableVision and inquired about the 10% senior discount. You are eligible ONLY if you subscribe to the bare-bones basic package. If you have a higher level package....no discount. The cust. serv. rep. I spoke to could provide no explanation why. One suggestion - make your own discount: Keep a log/note book by each TV. Document every minute of "frozen screens", recovery time after a box craps out, total outages, etc. Total it at the end of a billing cycle and demand a price reduction for prorated minutes (or hours!) service downtime. (Do the same for internet & phone service). Service is supposed to be 7/24 - never happens. It's maddening when it happens during a Giants game or a good movie.
BeachBum December 20, 2012 at 04:30 PM
http://www.wyckoff-nj.com/socsvc.html#cablevision

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