October 25, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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Cable options may be in store for Brunswick area

BRUNSWICK — Residents in the Brunswick area may have a choice for cable television service thanks to a new agreement aimed at saving the city nearly $100,000 over five years.

On Monday, City Council members heard the first reading of a set of ordinances that would sign the city up for a five-year contract with the Medina County Fiber Network and Wide Open West, also known as WOW.

The contract means residential customers in Brunswick could sign up for cable, telephone and Internet services from WOW — bringing competition to the city that has been a stronghold for Time Warner Cable.

“This is something people have been wanting for years,” Councilman At-large Ron Falconi said.

The city approached WOW about adding its service about a year ago and negotiations have been going on ever since, said Rob Marok, Brunswick IT and security administrator.

Under the plan, the city would keep its Time Warner cable service but add the Medina County Fiber Network and WOW to its providers. Marok said it’s a benefit to the city to have additional providers in case one provider has its service go out.

He said the city was able to negotiate a savings by adding two new providers because the competition meant lower rates.

The Medina County Fiber Network primarily will be available in the city’s industrial park areas and other industrial areas throughout the county. The network will provide high-speed data lines especially preferred by larger companies.

But WOW hopes to offer alternative cable television service to Time Warner. WOW will install lines throughout the Brunswick area and the cost for residents to tie in to the line will be minimal, said Robert Glassman, of Commtrol, who worked with the city to help reduce cable costs.

“They’ll expect a monthly price to help cover the costs of running the fiber line,” Glassman said, but added that even with the cost of adding infrastructure, the competition should help bring lower cable prices for Brunswick area residents.

“The goal for WOW is to be just as available to residents as Time Warner Cable,” Glassman said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.