Frederick residents may get an alternative for their cable and Internet service, as the city considers an agreement with Shenandoah Cable Television to provide services in the city.
Shenandoah is pursuing a cable franchise agreement with the city to provide cable services, including fiber-based broadband, voice, and video to residents and businesses in the city.
An agreement to provide an alternative to Comcast, the city’s current single provider, would have to be approved by the city’s aldermen.
The company’s fiberoptic build-out would be focused on broadband cable and wireless with a service that provides the same speeds for uploads and downloads, Shenandoah spokesman Bryan Byrd told the mayor and aldermen Wednesday.
While Comcast is currently the city’s only provider, federal law requires the city to make it feasible for other companies to establish a franchise that can compete fairly, said Stephen Davis, an assistant city attorney.
The city wants to provide as level a playing field as possible, Mayor Michael O’Connor said.
O’Connor said they’re seeing a demand for more broadband service with more people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
In April 2018, Comcast announced a $1 million expansion in the company’s fiber network in Frederick, adding about 14 miles of additional fiber optic cable in and near downtown Frederick.
While the company has a lot of respect for what Comcast offers, they believe they can provide choice and lower prices, Byrd said.
He said the company would hope to start serving customers two to three years after construction on the company’s infrastructure begins.
Shenandoah, a Sprint affiliate, is based in Edinburg, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and serves customers in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.