LIVERMORE FALLS – Subscribers had plenty to tell Adelphia Cable TV representative Mike Edgecomb during a public hearing last week.

Edgecomb explained that Adelphia is undergoing a big realignment and that this area is now part of the Northeast Region, which was previously just the New England Region.

The steady increase in rates for fewer quality channels was the major complaint as Ron Chadwick recalled receiving Channels 2-23 before the recent changeover that was supposed to give broadcast subscribers more selections.

Instead, Chadwick said, “All we get is paid commercials and French. To view the same things we used to get it would cost me 300 percent more. I have a hard time swallowing that.”

Edgecomb explained that broadcast now has channels 2-21 and that Chadwick shouldn’t have had all those other channels, anyway.

He also noted that several of the channels are paid ones that cost Adelphia nothing to broadcast while it has to pay for others.

“I don’t mind paying more for more channels, good ones, not French and cooking, etc.,” Chadwick replied.

Clayton Putnam recalled that the contract with the town requires Adelphia to do a survey but apparently it has not done so.

Other obligations the company has are to compensate the customer for a loss of service over 24 hours, to furnish copies of all complaints and to extend the lines one mile per year.

However, although the town is the franchising authority, it cannot tell them what to put on, Putnam admitted.

Edgecomb suggested concerns be addressed in writing and reminded customers that the company had spent over $1 million in town. “Livermore Falls has the most state of the art cable system in the country,” he said.

Subscribers made several suggestions such as special rates for the elderly and those on fixed incomes, allowing the customer to pick the channels he/she wants on an a la carte system, and giving a deal to veterans organizations.

State Rep. Rodney Jennings introduced Portland legislator Herb Adams who said there are two bills now pending before the Legislature now that would address some of the local issues.

He noted that cable rates are rising faster than inflation and that basic service is vital to many people.

“There’s not much we can do but we have some corners we can work in,” he said. One of those deals with the no-service reimbursement that is for 6 hours, rather than 24, but does require that the customer ask for it.

“When you know your rights, you’re better off, “Adams said. “What you don’t know about, you can’t ask for.”

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