A group of North Baltimore communities, spearheaded by the Roland Park Civic League, wants to start a discussion with Internet providers about why options for broadband service are so limited.
Phil Spevak, civic league president, said the conversation about the lack of choice for broadband stemmed from the section of the neighborhood’s master plan about addressing outdated infrastructure. He said residents are concerned that the lack of competition is impacting prices and services.
"If you lived in Anne Arundel County you could pay about $30 less for service from Verizon, and get a better package than you would pay [Comcast] $30 more for in Baltimore," Spevak said.
Residents will meet with representatives from Comcast and Verizon at 7 p.m. on March 14, at the Roland Park Presbyterian Church, to discuss what has been dubbed the North Baltimore Broadband Initiative.
The idea to have a larger meeting about broadband service came together about three weeks ago following a meeting between representatives from Mt. Washington, Guilford, Homeland, Roland Springs and Wyndhurst about the issue.
Spevak said so far the planning for this has been directly through local communities and that they have not formally spoken with elected officials about finding a way to address the broadband situation.
"We’ve not gone through the elected officials to ask them to help with this. It’s more that we’ve gone to the vendors straight and invited them," he said.
He said the community groups are not naive enough to thinking their advocacy will bring more change or instantly bring more providers into the city. But said he is hopeful the companies will eventually be responsive to what customers are asking.
"I think it’s important to convey to the vendors the level of interest in this from the community," Spevak said.