Cox, Valparaiso Cable and Live Oak Fiber Compete for customers in Valparaiso

Valparaiso’s government-owned internet, phone, and cable provider aren’t going out of business. But, someone wants you to think it is, according to the city’s IT manager.

At the city’s regular commission meeting Monday, IT Director James Butler pointed the finger at Cox Communications. ” We’ve had numerous reports from citizens of a Cox salesman telling people [Valparaiso Cable] is going out of business in October and that they have to switch to Cox or they will have nothing. That’s absolutely categorically not true. We are not going out of business,” Butler said.

Finally, Butler told the commission about three incidents where Cox contractors damaged Valparaiso City Cable, causing outages and ruining yards around the city. “I know one incident where the homeowner was home when it happened. And he came out and was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and [the contractors] were like, ‘oh, that was an accident. We’ll fix it.’ And they just left it.” Commissioner Kay Hamilton, who’s in charge of Valparaiso Cable’s operations, noted that the issues have also made it to her. ‘We’ve had some instances of Cox cutting the existing [Valparaiso Cable] lines,” she noted, “Cox is so layered with contractors and subcontractors – kids are running around, putting hangers on doors and stuff, they don’t even know what they are talking about. They are trying to get somebody that is uninformed. It’s really unfair.”

Mayor Brent Smith asked the city’s attorney, Hayward Dykes, if they could send Cox a letter demanding compensation for damaged property. Dykes said that it was a possibility but suggested broadcasting on the city’s public access channel information about the City Cable’s continued existence as a way to stop disinformation.

We contacted Cox Communications’ Pensacola office about the accusations made in the meeting. Their public affairs director, Margaret-Hunter Wade said, “Cox has proudly connected the Gulf Coast region for nearly 50 years and weโ€™re looking forward to extending our fiber-powered services to the residents of Valparaiso, offering them additional options when it comes to their communication needs. Weโ€™re working with the local government throughout the construction process and have advised them that any accidental damage to existing infrastructure will be repaired in a timely manner.”

Cox is one of several communications providers moving into Valparaiso, ending the city-owned network’s effective monopoly on the market. The city has always been open to other companies – but only recently have those companies shown an interest in the residents of Valparaiso. Soon, residents can choose between Valparaiso’s utility, Cox Communications, and Live Oak Fiber.

These are the current prices for internet only in Valparaiso:

Internet Prices in Valparaiso

VendorMegabytes per secondPriceContract?Available now?
Valparaiso25$ 45.25FALSETRUE
Valparaiso50$ 49.25FALSETRUE
Valparaiso75$ 59.25FALSETRUE
Valparaiso100$ 64.25FALSETRUE
COX100$ 49.99FALSETRUE
Valparaiso200$ 74.25FALSETRUE
COX250$ 69.90FALSETRUE
Valparaiso300$ 94.25FALSETRUE
COX500$ 59.99TRUETRUE
Live Oak500$ 55.00FALSEFALSE
COX1,000$ 99.99TRUETRUE
Live Oak2,000$ 99.00FALSEFALSE
Live Oak5,000$ 135.00FALSEFALSE

One Response

  1. Mayor Brent Smith’s request of Lawyer Dykes was to sent a letter requesting compensation, not a request to spread the correct information about the city’s cable/internet. Perhaps the lawyer does not understand that there is a difference and that the city plans to follow up with continued requests and may need new representation. Especially true since Cox’s public affairs director did not respond appropriately either.

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