Residents in both Durham and Dover may soon have options when it comes to who provides their cable services.

Atlantic Broadband acquired MetroCast Cable Systems during a $1.4 billion purchase that closed in January of 2018 and company leaders have been working to get into more markets, including Durham and Dover.

In Dover, city councilors heard a presentation during a workshop on the topic on July 7. At that time, City Manager Michael Joyal said Atlantic Broadband had approached them with the idea of offering services a couple of months prior to the meeting.

On Friday, Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig wrote in his Friday Updates newsletter that cable franchise negotiations with Atlantic Broadband have been ongoing for many months and are nearing a close.

He said the proposal will go before the town council on Aug. 16. If it moves forward, a public hearing and vote will take place on Sept. 13.

"By Federal law, the terms of the franchise with ABB must be commensurate/consistent with the existing Cable Franchise Agreement between Durham and Comcast.  Franchise negotiations with cable companies are weighted substantially in favor of the cable companies. Municipalities in practice have little say over what customers care about most: price, build-out, channel line up, etc," Selig wrote.

After getting approval from the Rochester City Council, in September of 2018 Comcast connected to residential customers in Rochester, making it the first competitive cable market in New Hampshire.

Company leaders announced that they had completed the expansion of the network on all city-certified streets in Rochester in June of 2020.

What is Atlantic Broadband?

According to their website, Atlantic Broadband is a subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA) and is the 8th largest cable operator in the United States.

The company provides TV, internet, phone and enterprise business services to more than 450,000 business and residential customers located in eleven states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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