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


In Sunday’s column about the quick spread of Glo Fiber internet in the Roanoke and New River valleys, I noted my (favorable) impression of the service since signing up last August. That column also solicited impressions from other Glo subscribers.

Below, you can see the result, along with more facts and tips about the service along the way.

One 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 purchased a TV channels package from Glo last year, you may very well have gotten hit with a price increase.

Glo Fiber TV packages in Roanoke currently range from $45 to $185 per month. (Glo Fiber also offers various bundles that may include internet, TV, phone and cloud digital video recorder service — those range from $165 to $265 monthly.)

One subscriber who got hit with an increase is Cheryll Holland of southeast Roanoke, who signed up in November.

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“Before that, I had Cox internet, Cox phone, and DirectTV,” Holland wrote in an email. “I was paying an astronomical amount for the two combined. With the Glo Fiber, I would be saving just under $150 per month.

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

“The installation was quick and I have had no serious problems. I do agree that their communication about service interruptions is lacking, but they are far and few between. It also appears that they are working on getting better at the issue,” Holland wrote.

The next month, Holland received an email she wasn’t expecting. It was from Glo, and the subject line was, “Glo Fiber TV Price Adjustment Notification.”

“I was notified in December that my Glo Fiber TV service would be increasing by $13.93, Holland wrote. “Still, I am saving just over $130 a month. And the service has not given me any issues.”

Holland also sent me the email from Glo Fiber noting the increase. As described in the letter, those would appear to add up to $5 to $10 per month depending on which level of video package to which a Glo customer subscribes.

The bump also likely includes some local taxes, too. In Virginia, localities may charge taxes on cable TV and phone services but not for internet-only connections.

The letter Holland got from Glo states: “The reason for the increase is the amount local broadcasters are charging us to carry their programming. This is the same programming . . . which you could receive for free, if you were able to pick up their signal with an antenna.”

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

Near the top of his email, Carl wrote: “I am sending this mail via my new, faster-than-a-speeding bullet internet service. Hope your computer screen survives.”

But Carl noted that Glo doesn’t at the present offer TV services in Roanoke County. Good point. That’s because Glo Fiber doesn’t have a franchise agreement in the county that permits 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 Roanoke County spokesman.

To sell TV services, Glo “would have to enter into a franchise agreement with the county,” Craig said. That would require an affirmative vote of the board of supervisors, he added. Before such a vote, the board would schedule a public hearing.

A spokesman for Glo Fiber said the company intends to apply for such a franchise.

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

Bruce Harper of Blacksburg signed up 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, typically a 1+ gigabyte file. Initially it was a several-hour process, but Comcast recently made some changes that dropped the upload time to 30-45 minutes. I was also paying close to $100 a month for the [Comcast] service.

“Comcast is now a thing of the past and I am thrilled at the speed increase,” Harper added.

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

He also noted that Glo-supplied Eero wireless routers, for which the company doesn’t initially charge, aren’t no-cost forever.

“While looking at my first bill that listed the service I was receiving, I noticed that 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 “Wall-to-Wall WiFi” coverage at no charge, using Eero routers supplied by Glo. The fee is $10 per month thereafter.

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

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

About those wireless routers: The two that came with my system sufficiently blast a signal throughout our four-bedroom home to connect a variety of wireless devices. But our wirelessly connected devices seem to operate at slightly slower speeds than the 1 gigabit service I’m getting on my office computer, which is hardwired into a Glo-supplied modem).

Lastly, I heard from Peter Nylander. He lives in the Raleigh Court neighborhood, and reminds us that Glo Fiber may not be suitable for everyone — such as baseball fiends.

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

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

“Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are considered ‘in 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 into the matter showed 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 eh?”

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





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