The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and
Advisors (NATOA) gave Comcast a shout-out this week for its commitment to
provide low-cost broadband to low-income households and boost deployment
to schools and libraries.
While NATOA said it would like to see more specific
commitments to PEG (Public, Educational, and Government) programming, NATOA commended
Comcast for its pledge to improve broadband employment and adoption.
Comcast has promised to provide high-speed Internet service
to low-income households for $9.95 per month, with no install or
"NATOA continues to have concerns about the proposed
merger and its potential effect on Public, Educational, and Government (PEG)
programming," the group said in a letter to the FCC. "While the
company has stated its support for PEG services, we would like to see more
concrete assurances that PEG channels will be treated in the same manner that
local commercial channels.... But, these concerns aside, we again voice our
support for Comcast's desire to expand consumer access to news, information,
and entertainment and offer to Comcast whatever services and assistance NATOA
and its members can provide to make this shared goal a reality."
Comcast has also promised to "expand its existing
network by at least 1,500 miles per year for the next three years (2011, 2012
and 2013), making broadband Internet available to an estimated 400,000
additional homes" 2) "upgrade for Internet service at least six
additional rural communities in 2011" and 3) "provide an additional
600 courtesy video and high-speed Internet account locations (for schools,
libraries, and other community institutions... over the next three years, at a
rate of 200 additional locations per year."
It has also promised not to migrate PEG channels to a
digital tier on any system until the system has converted to all digital or a
community agrees to digital delivery. That pledge mirrors one Comcast made to
settle a lawsuit in Michigan over its planned PEG channel moves there.