Community News & Updates

by Bob Foster,  Master Board President

April 1, 2018

The time has come for our complete switch over to the new Fiber Optics that were installed a year ago throughout the community.  On March 15th I publicized a list of 85 units that were still on the old coax.  Comcast originally told me that they would shut down the old coax cable on March 30th, but I pleaded for a two week extension so that we could get the word out to everyone through the newsletter that goes to each of our 590 doors on April 1st.   Some units are still working on the old coax wire, and will have no TV or Internet once the old coax is de-activated.  I have been sending out periodic e-mail blasts to about 250 e-mail addresses with various community updates, particularly about the issues with Comcast.  I know that not all of you get my e-mails, but everyone gets this newsletter delivered to their door.

Some of the 85 units have since got switched over, but we know that some units are still on the old system.  I urge all residents to check your ONU (mounted on the wall of your utility room, den or garage) and make sure that it has a small, bright green light glowing and that it has two cables attached to the terminals.  If your ONU has not been activated by Comcast, you are NOT on the new Fiber.  In order to get switched over to the new Fiber you must call 1-800-Xfinity and make an appointment to have your “Fiber activated”.  Appointments can be made on Saturdays or Sundays if you aren’t available during the week.If you lose your services on or after April 13th, it means that you’re not on the new Fiber and you will need to work with Comcast to get it done (1-800-Xfinity).  Tell them that you’re part of the Sapphire Lakes Bulk Services Agreement, but never got your Fiber activated for some reason. If it turns out that your Fiber is broken, cracked or otherwise faulty, it may take a few weeks for you to regain your TV and Internet services.

If you don’t receive periodic e-mail updates from me and you want to be added to the list, please e-mail me at:  rwfoster22@gmail.com

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                    COMCAST  BULK  HD VIDEO/INTERNET CONTRACT

            EFFECTIVE  SEPTEMBER  6, 2016

 

  • The new 10 year contract with Comcast was counter signed  by Comcast on Sept. 6, 2016 and they have pledged to begin installing the new Fiber Optics lines during the first week of December.
  • Comcast will install fiber optics to each unit (ONU) replacing the old coaxial wire.
  • Comcast will provide each of our 590 units with HD Video service (HD Digital Starter with 70 HD Channels) and 3 pieces of video equipment:  X1 DVR, an X1 companion box,  and 1 HD-DTA, thus giving each unit “whole home DVR” capability.
  • The 10 year contract will bundle the Comcast “Blast” Internet service which currently has a speed of 100 mgs. (we were receiving 25 mgs.) and through the life of the contract as the “blast” speed in Southwest FL increases, we will receive that optimum speed. Currently Comcast in the Northeast U.S. is 150 mgs.   Comcast will also provide each unit with a Gateway modem with a wireless router.  This same modem can be used by the unit owner if they want to purchase telephone service from Comcast.
  • COST:  $69.76 (including all taxes and fees). The 4 pieces of equipment are being offered to us at less than half the retail cost.  And there won’t be any $10 “Technology Fee” that our unit owners currently pay on their individual Comcast bills if they have DVRs and/or HD boxes.
  • Comcast has offered to terminate our current contract and start the new contract as soon as the new fiber optics are installed and up and running.
  • Comcast will provide us with complimentary WiFi at the 4 pools and the Gate House, as well as the Recreation Area. Note:  currently we are paying $6000 per year for WiFi at the pools and the Gate House.
  • Customer Service: since June 2015 all calls from Sapphire Lakes have been directed to the Call Center in Fort Meyers, and since October we have been assigned our own CAR  (Customer Assistance Representative) who can intervene to help solve customer service issues.  Property Manager Karl Forsman has successfully used his services on a number of occasions.
  • Telephone service available for $20 / month. (Can be put on seasonal for $5 /month.)
  • Additional boxes or DTA’s can be leased by unit owners
  • Annual increase limited to 4% (but the Broadcast Fee stays constant). Note:  the previous contract allowed for a 5% annual increase.

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