Atlantic Broadband pledges to stay and fight Comcast in Rochester, New Hampshire

Atlantic Broadband van
Image: Atlantic Broadband

Atlantic Broadband has sent a letter to Rochester, New Hampshire, city officials, declaring its intention to stay despite the city's decision to hand Comcast a cable franchise agreement in December.

The letter was first reported by local paper Foster’s Daily Democrat, which said Atlantic Broadband surprised Rochester officials with their plan to stay in the city and compete with the No. 1 U.S. cable operator. Atlantic Broadband reps passed on a ground-floor opportunity to share the letter with Fierce.

Atlantic Broadband, a subsidiary of Canadian operator Cogeco, entered Rochester last month upon closure of its $1.4 billion purchase of the remaining MetroCast assets. 

RELATED: Cogeco closes on $1.4B MetroCast purchase

Within the bowels of Rochester civic government, City Manager Dan Fitzpatrick is reported by the Daily Democrat as having “spearheaded” Comcast’s move into the city … right before 71-year-old city official announced his retirement, effective in June. 

Fitzpatrick paraphrased the Atlantic Broadband letter for the paper, saying that it essentially reads, "'We will come here, upgrade and compete,' and our citizens should greatly benefit from two competing providers over the next couple of years."

The MetroCast deal made Atlantic the ninth largest U.S. cable operator, with more than 450,000 customers and 850,000 residential passings spanning from Maine to Florida. Atlantic Broadband employs more than 1,250 workers and has over $710 million in combined annual revenue. 

In announcing their deal, Atlantic Broadband executives expressed confidence in their business plan and their ability to execute it. 

“A core strength of MetroCast has been its excellent operational and service team,” said Richard Shea, Atlantic Broadband president and CEO, in a statement released last month.