MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Mayor Richard Thomas recently met with Spectrum Communications, the new company formed by the Charter-Time Warner and Bright House Communications merger, to discuss what the company could do for Mount Vernon.
As a result of the meeting, Thomas has announced that Mount Vernon residents will be able to watch public meetings from their home, office and mobile devices. Additionally, Spectrum will have to offer internet connections at faster speeds and lower prices for those who qualify for the discounted products mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
The company is also required to install communications infrastructure in areas without access, including Fourth Avenue, and wiring City Hall. This also means seniors, low-income individuals and even small-business owners will be able to access programming at a quarter of the rate they are now paying, saving hundreds of dollars a month and thousands per year, Thomas said.
"I am proud that our continued advocacy for the residents of Mount Vernon has resulted in lower-priced products and full transparency of local government. Time Warner has avoided their obligation to invest in the city's public infrastructure, disabling efforts for Mount Vernonites to connect with their government for more than 15 years," Thomas said. "Now small businesses and those with limited means can finally get a break with affordable television and faster internet speed packages. The renewed commitment to providing better, cheaper services is evidenced by the fact that Spectrum met with Mount Vernon first and is taking immediate steps to satisfy our mandate to connect Mount Vernon."
Resident Fiorella Kelly said, "My Verizon bill runs between $175 and $180 dollars a month. It is a very sizable part of my fixed income, and I would welcome a reduction in my bill."
Another resident, Barbara DeGeorge said she welcomes changes from the cable company.
"I've been a Time Warner customer since the beginning. My bill was originally $79 when I called a couple of years ago, and now it's $198," she said. "I am retired and living on a fixed income, and I think it's outrageous."