The city of Joliet is looking to offer residents another cable service provider.
A pending proposal would allow interested residents to opt in as customers of Evansville, Indiana-based company Metronet. In Joliet, cable television customers currently have two options: AT&T and Comcast.
“We’ve been approached by a small firm operating in Indiana whose looking to enter the Illinois market and Iowa market and basically offer what Comcast and AT&T [offer],” Deputy City Manager Steve Jones said. “That includes the triple play, as they call it—telephone, video, internet, cable, etc.”
To date, Metronet is contracting with residents living in Romeoville, Oswego and Plainfield.
“We’ve had some discussions; they’re sort of in the due diligence phase right now,” Jones said. “But, it’s pretty clear that we’re already surrounded by some of their intent to lay some fiber down, so it’s likely that Joliet will be part of the overall initiative.”
Within the next month or two, the city will be looking to begin negotiations with the cable company.
Metronet offers fiber technology to the home, which dictates the speeds of cable and internet.
Jones said this technology brings a fiber connection directly to a home with incredible speed at a competitive price, compared with other service providers.
In order for a cable company to enter the state of Illinois, there are two avenues: local or statewide franchises. Metronet intends to seek a local franchise, officials said.
Under state law, any newcomer must get a similar cable contract to other existing municipalities. In doing so, officials will review the details of the agreement Metronet formed with the village of Plainfield.
“In effect, we’ll be looking at what Comcast has for the city and try to negotiate something along those lines,” Jones said.
The deputy city manager said the prospect of forming an agreement with a third competing cable service provider is exciting.
“Certainly, residents will have more choice,” he said.