To the editor,
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024 — The sale of Bardstown Connect is impending. With bids from Comcast, Duo Broadband, and Spectrum submitted, I felt it necessary to bring to the forefront a few points about why this sale should not happen.
I challenge anyone to identify another provider that has worked harder to bring Internet and Cable Television services to residents of Bardstown and Nelson County in the last few years. Bardstown Connect has expanded its footprint by leaps and bounds the last 10 years and has brought service to areas no other provider would touch. Even now with the sale forthcoming, Bardstown Connect is still expanding its fiber footprint in the city and county.
A recent report by private equity management group, Grain Management (Hearn 2023) concluded that local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have advantages over larger conglomerate providers (such as AT&T, Comcast, or Spectrum).
Small ISPs, like Bardstown Connect, are more “agile” and can work with residents on deployment plans and can utilize connections with local regulators to expedite deployments. Bardstown Connect actively takes input from the local community through the Cable TV Programming Committee. I strongly doubt that Spectrum or Comcast will care much about community input if they are successful in purchasing Bardstown Connect.
Many Bardstown and Nelson County residents will feel pain in their pocketbooks as a result of this sale. Go online and take a brief look at the rates Comcast, Spectrum, and even Duo Broadband charge their subscribers, and you will see that Bardstown Connect is cheaper in almost every category. Just about every Bardstown Connect subscriber will see a price increase as a result of this sale.
Additionally, the City states that the sale of Bardstown Connect is necessary to fund capital projects for the City’s other utilities. However, had the City Council taken the prudent steps and adjusted utility rates to properly set aside capital improvement money, then the sale would not be necessary. What will the City do the next time it finds itself in dire financial straits? Sell off other municipally-owned utilities like garbage collection, water, or sewer?
Bardstown Connect is one of the few revenue-generating utilities that the City owns. Will the City Council face the music and adjust utility rates to make the other utilities stable and fund future capital improvements?
I encourage everyone to contact the mayor, city council members, and City Hall and voice their concerns about the sale of Bardstown Connect. Perhaps ask them how much your bill will increase as a result of the sale.
Tyler Fields is your internet guru, delving into the latest trends, developments, and issues shaping the online world. With a focus on internet culture, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies, Tyler keeps readers informed about the dynamic landscape of the internet and its impact on our digital lives.