County Council OKs deal involving cable customers

June 06, 2007|By Phillip McGowan | Phillip McGowan,Sun Reporter

The Anne Arundel County Council voted to approve a deal this week that allows struggling Millennium Digital Media Services to hand over its 38,000 cable customers to Comcast Corp.

The agreement between St. Louis-based Millennium and Comcast needs federal approval. Kelvin Westbrook, chairman of Millennium, said endorsement by the local government is one factor federal officials consider. Westbrook said he has received "all sorts of assurances that [Comcast] will maintain the same level of service."

The Millennium chairman said that despite $30 million in upgrades in recent years to offer customers a "bundled" service of high-speed Internet, phone and cable, the customer base dropped from 56,000.

"We gave it our best shot," Westbrook said.

The departure of Millennium leaves the county with two cable providers: Comcast and Verizon Communications. Council members said that the presence of Verizon, which reached an agreement to offer service in the county last year, allays their concerns about a lack of competition for Comcast.

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