Comcast cable television, phone and internet service is officially coming to Ocean Pines.
The Ocean Pines Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved a landmark agreement with the cable company, granting a right of access to install, maintain, repair and operate equipment in the community. The contract also grants Comcast a nonexclusive license supply service to Ocean Pines residents.
The agreement is effective immediately and good for 10 years, and requires Comcast to construct a service provider system within five years.
According to the contract, Comcast will install up to 25 video outlets for Ocean Pines buildings, to include the Administration office, Community Center, Police Department, two fire departments, Public Works, Yacht Club, Beach Club and Golf pro shop. Additionally, Comcast will provide free, public Wi-Fi at certain Ocean Pines common areas, at no charge to the Association.
Ocean Pines will receive a 1.6 percent right of access fee, based on annual gross revenues that Comcast earns in the community.
Association President Doug Parks thanked former Board member Tom Terry and attorney Jeremy Tucker for their help in developing the agreement.
“The three of us really put our heads together and went through that contract back and forth to try to touch on all the important, salient points, to make sure we were doing right for Ocean Pines,” he said.
“I’m really happy we put this effort in,” Parks continued. “I’m happy with the fact that Comcast came to us and gave us an opportunity to have a more appropriate contract with them, with no real investment from Ocean Pines other than our time to come to an agreement. This long-term partnership will allow them to bring resources in, to set up healthy competition for driving video, internet and phone services to the customers here in Ocean Pines.
“I’m very happy that we passed the contract and I’m looking forward to getting an implementation plan and a timeline that we can make public for everyone. That information will be available when we get it,” Parks said.
General Manager John Viola said the agreement was a landmark for Ocean Pines.
“This is something people in Ocean Pines have wanted to see happen for years, and full credit to the team for making this a reality,” he said. “Doug, Tom Terry, Jeremy Tucker and others put in countless hours to get this done, and we couldn’t be happier that Comcast will soon be providing service to our homeowners and residents. Good things are happening in Ocean Pines.”
The agreement marks the first time in Ocean Pines history that more than one cable television service will be available to residents.
Cable television first came to the community in 1979, with Triad CATV. Simmons Cable TV bought the Ocean Pines cable system in 1987 and took over the agreement with the Association.
According to “History of Ocean Pines, Maryland” by E.A. Rogers, as of 1991 the basic cable rate was $14.95 per month and included 25 channels, with premium channels available at an extra cost.
Simmons was sold to American Cable TV Investors 5 Ltd. in 1992 and the Board approved transferring the franchise agreement to ACTV.
According to a March 1997 issue of the Ocean Pines Report, Mediacom bought ACTV in 1997 and the Ocean Pines cable TV franchise was then transferred to Mediacom.
To view video of the special Board meeting, visit https://youtu.be/JJ_rdur9thI.