CASEY: Readers have a lot to say about Glo Fiber internet and TV | Local news

In Sunday’s column on the rapid spread of Glo Fiber Internet in the Roanoke and New River valleys, I noted my (favorable) impression of the service since I signed up last August. That column also asked for impressions from other Glo subscribers.

Below is the result, along with more tidbits and tips about the service along the way.

For example, the company hasn’t increased its $80 monthly fee for 1 gigabit Internet service since the summer when I signed up. But if you also bought a TV channel package from Glo last year, you may have gotten a price increase.

Glo Fiber TV packages in Roanoke currently range from $45 to $185 per month. (Glo Fiber also offers several bundles that can include Internet, TV, telephone, and cloud digital video recorder service — ranging from $165 to $265 per month.)

A subscriber who was hit by a raise is Cheryl Holland from southeastern Roanoke, who applied in November.

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“Before that I had Cox internet, Cox telephone and DirectTV,” Holland wrote in an email. “I paid an astronomical amount for the two together. With the Glo Fiber, I would save just under $150 a month.

It’s important to note that when Holland made the switch, she also dropped her landline at the same time – so the monthly price difference isn’t a strict apples-to-apples comparison.

“The installation was quick and I had no serious problems. I agree that their communication about service outages is lacking, but they are few and far between. It also looks like they are working to get better on the matter,” Holland wrote.

The following month, Holland received an email she was not expecting. It belonged to Glo, and the subject line was, “Glo Fiber TV Price Adjustment Notification.”

“In December, I was informed that my Glo Fiber TV service would increase by $13.93, Holland wrote. “Yet I save just over $130 a month. And the service hasn’t given me any problems.”

Holland also sent me the email from Glo Fiber mentioning the increase. As described in the letter, those seem to add up to $5 to $10 per month, depending on the level of video package a Glo customer is subscribed to.

The bump probably also includes some local taxes. In Virginia, municipalities are allowed to levy taxes on cable TV and telephone services, but not on Internet-only connections.

In the letter that Holland received from Glo, it says: “The reason for the increase is the amount that local broadcasters ask us to run their programs. This is the same programming. † † which you could receive for free, if you could pick up their signal with an antenna.”

Douglas Carl lives in north Roanoke County and must be one of Glo’s first customers there — the company signed up its first county subscriber in April. And he sounds pleased.

At the top of his email, Carl wrote, “I’m sending this email through my new faster-than-speeding bullet Internet service. I hope your computer screen survives.”

But Carl noted that Glo does not currently offer TV services in Roanoke County. Good point. That’s because Glo Fiber doesn’t have a franchise agreement in the province that allows them to sell TV channels like a cable company.

Two companies — Cox Communications and Comcast, currently have non-exclusive franchise agreements in Roanoke County to sell wired TV, said Gray Craig, a spokesperson for Roanoke County.

To sell TV services, Glo would have to “franchise with the county,” Craig said. That would require a positive vote from the Board of Supervisors, he added. Prior to such a vote, the board would schedule a public hearing.

A Glo Fiber spokesperson said the company plans to apply for such a franchise.

“This is a federal and state requirement,” said Chris Kyle, a Glo vice president. “We want to do that in the future (probably late 2022 or early 2023).”

Bruce Harper van Blacksburg applied at the beginning of May.

“I have had my Glo Fiber service for almost 3 weeks now and I am a satisfied customer,” he wrote.

“When the pandemic started, my church went to online services, which were recorded. I upload the video to our website, usually a 1+ gigabyte file. Initially it was a process of several hours, but Comcast recently made some changes that the upload time up to 30-45 minutes I also paid almost $100 per month for the [Comcast] maintenance.

“Comcast is now a thing of the past and I’m excited about the speed increase,” Harper added.

With Glo Fiber “I can now upload the 1+ gigabyte video file in about a minute. Video streaming doesn’t buffer and I’m not aware of any interruptions. Makes me incredibly happy with Glo Fiber.”

He also noted that Glo-provided Eero wireless routers, which the company doesn’t charge initially, aren’t free forever.

“While looking at my first bill that stated the service I was receiving, I noticed the Eero equipment ($10/month but free for the first 12 months) was listed.”

Stuart French, a Glo project director, said the company is currently offering one year of free ‘Wall-to-Wall WiFi’ coverage, using Eero routers supplied by Glo. After that, the fee is $10 per month.

That’s $10 per household, not per Eero modem, Frans added. Glo Fiber will install as many Eero modems as needed for wall-to-wall coverage.

“This is a promotion for new customers. This promotion can change from month to month,” French told me.

About those wireless routers: The two that came with my system blow enough signal through our four-bedroom house to connect a variety of wireless devices. But our wirelessly connected devices seem to run a bit slower than the 1 gigabit service I get on my office computer, which is plugged into a Glo-provided modem).

Last I heard from Peter Nylander. He lives in the Raleigh Court neighborhood and reminds us that Glo Fiber may not be for everyone — like baseball fans.

“I really wanted the superior value that Glo Fiber offers,” Nylander wrote. But there was a hitch.

“As a baseball fan, many interesting games are broadcast on regional sports channels. My out-of-market [Major League Baseball] streaming package does not contain ‘in market’ games.

Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are considered ‘in the market’. Those games are only available on the local regional sports networks, [the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and Mid-Atlantic Sports Network2]’, Nylander noted.

“Research has shown that Cox recently signed a multi-year agreement to carry the MASN channels. They are not available to Glo-Fiber customers. Pretty slick on Cox’s part, huh?’

Contact metro columnist Dan Casey at 981-3423 or dan.casey@roanoke.com. Follow him on Twitter:@dancaseysblog

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