City rejects Comcast, but resistance is futile

Worcester, Massachusetts, is fighting a losing battle against Comcast's plan to take over its cable and internet customers.

comcast remote mascot
Stephen Depolo via Flickr/Creative Commons

Comcast is undergoing a nationwide exchange of customers as part of its massive merger with rival service provider Time Warner Cable, bringing many new cities and towns into its control in the process. Worcester, Massachusetts, wants everyone to know that it doesn't want to be one of those cities.

Worcester’s City Council voted 8-3 this week to reject an upcoming transfer of its cable television license to Comcast, making it the first of the 53 other Central Massachusetts towns affected by the plan to reject it publicly, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported.

The Council’s vote against a trade of its Charter Cable customers to Comcast is actually somewhat arbitrary. The vote is "advisory in nature," and the City Manager tasked with approving or rejecting a transfer of the cable rights can make his own decision regardless of how the council votes, the Telegram reported. The transfer is set to move forward if the City Manager fails to make a decision before today's deadline, but even if he were to reject it, the state's Cable Television Commission would likely approve the plan in the end, according to the report.

City officials apparently knew that, but insisted on the vote to send a message to the cable industry about how it approaches customer service. Others simply wanted Comcast to know that its move into the city will be unwelcome.

"It's a terrible company," Gary Rosen, a Worcester District Councilor, said, according to the report. "In my opinion, they should not be welcome in this city. Comcast is a wolf in wolf's clothing; it's that bad. They are awful, no doubt about it. Maybe we can't stop it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't speak out." 

That’s one of several ace quotes from city officials on the vote, which you should read over at the T&G’s site. Having lived in Worcester myself, I’d say it’s the kind of greeting Comcast should have expected.

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