Public hearing to focus on cable in Selma

Published 10:21 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

Options are limited in Selma when it comes to cable providers. Charter Communications is the only one that offers cable.

The city of Selma will host a public hearing Thursday, May 14 at 5 p.m. in the council chamber at City Hall to discuss cable options.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of questions about the Charter Communications services, and this is going to be an outlet we can go ahead let the citizens engage and have a Q and A with a representative from Charter,” said Selma City Council President Corey Bowie after Thursday’s work session.

Bowie said there have been concerns from citizens about the quality of the service as well as the pricing.

“A lot of times [people say] channels have been cutting off. Channels just go off, and it stays like that for a while,” Bowie said. “I think [the hearing] will serve a dual purpose, where Charter can hear the concerns from the citizens and the citizens can get a chance to hear about the services Charter is offering and how they can rectify the problems.”

The city had a three-year contract with Charter, but it recently expired.

“We had a three-year contract with Charter, but the contract has ended. We just wanted to get input from Charter and also the citizens,” Bowie said. “Hopefully, we can resolve some of the issues that we’ve been having.”

Bowie said the current situation could lead to potential competition with the addition of more cable companies in Selma.

“It has been an ongoing situation where people have said that we need to get more competition,” Bowie said. “We’re not saying we will, but this can be an initial phase if we are going to move towards that.”

Bowie said the city has a choice to renew the contract or just continue to have Charter provide services.

“I felt at this point in time, with the clarity and crowd of people out there with questions about the service for Charter, it would be best that we have a town hall meeting,” Bowie said.

Bowie encourages people that have problems with their service from Charter to attend the meeting and voice their concerns. Citizens will be given the floor to ask a representative from the cable company about the services it provides.

“They need to go ahead and voice their concerns,” Bowie said. “A lot of times they come through the council members up here. We can answer questions, but we don’t have that direct line. This is an opportunity they can get the direct line and gives Charter ideas of how they can provide more quality service.”

Bowie hopes the meeting will give everyone a better understanding of their issues with Charter.