Antietam Broadband's lack of competition as an Internet Provider.
But that story isn't completely accurate.
The story from WDVM makes it sound like Smithsburg residents recently started the petition. However, reviewing the actual petition reveals a different story.
The first indicator that this petition might not be current is that Antietam Cable was renamed to Antietam Broadband in 2017. Why then would this petition call out Antietam Cable instead of Antietam Broadband? Diving deeper into the petition reveals the answer - the first signature on the petition was from 2016. While the petition has experienced some recent activity, as of this article it has less than 400 signatures.
Despite what WDVM's story states, the petition wasn't started by someone in Smithsburg. According to the story "Smithsburg residents have started a petition called 'Stop Antietam Cable's Monopoly.'". However, the first signature is from the petition's creator, who appears to be anonymous and claims to be from Hagerstown, not Smithsburg.
Additionally, there is competition available in Washington County for high-speed Internet. Alternatives include Verizon DSL, Telegia, Hagerstown Fiber, and in some parts of the county Comcast Xfinity. Satellite Internet is also available from multiple companies, but is typically very high latency and low speed.
WDVM and Antietam Broadband recently failed to reach a deal regarding re-transmission fees. Since then WDVM has published multiple articles against Antietam Broadband as part of their attempts to get Antietam to once again pick up the channel and pay retransmission fees.
After failed attempts to involve the Hagerstown City Council, WDVM even ran a story claiming Mayor Bob Bruchey told them to "never call him again". Bruchey actually informed WDVM that he did not want to be involved in their dispute with Antietam Broadband.
We at the WashCo Chronicle would like to encourage WDVM to find some journalistic integrity, and instead of attacking Antietam Broadband over a failed contract negotiation, focus on local news that residents care about.
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