The board overseeing the Health Connector will consider at Thursday's meeting a plan to open new walk-in help centers in Springfield, New Bedford, Brockton and Lowell.

Gary Rosen Charter/Spectrum Edward M. Augustus Jr. John Maher

Gary Rosen Charter/Spectrum Edward M. Augustus Jr. John Maher

Residents complained about inconsistent pricing, difficulty navigating customer service, the lack of a senior discount and spotty internet and cable reliability. They railed against rising costs for mostly unwanted cable channels, and conversely, some residents said they pay for higher-tier internet connections that don't perform as advertised.

A task force has been exploring the idea of taking the city's cable and internet service in-house, and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has committed to setting aside $12 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to study an implementation of broadband improvements. Jason Flanagan said he moved to Worcester in 2002, and described himself as an original "cord-cutter" who ditched cable but relies on Charter/Spectrum for internet.

He said municipal broadband would bring with it the control over pricing that would allow poorer residents to have internet at home. A few residents said more competition would make Charter/Spectrum more accountable, but others were skeptical, saying that most cable companies are within range of each other on price and customer service.

John Maher, director of government affairs at Charter/Spectrum, attended the meeting Monday, and said he took diligent notes. He said the company's two facilities on Barber Avenue and Higgins Street employ about 200 employees at each site. He said he has heard the complaints about the Grafton Street customer service location, and said there is a plan in the works "to relieve stress on that store.".

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