Re: Cable TV Cost
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2021 17:04:19 -0700 (PDT)
> On Sep 10, 2021, at 4:50 PM, jro1229 [at] wrote:
> The question has been brought up about members who do not watch TV (cable
> outlets will be functional, no matter what). Should we offer the option to
> opt-out of paying for cable TV, with the cost spread among the HOA dues for
> the remaining households? If so, how do you deal with it?

We also put in all the wiring for cable and internet connections in 1999. 
Internet service has been regularly upgraded—the latest when everyone started 
working from home and was desperate for reliable fast connections. It is 
included in the condo fee and everyone uses it except a couple of people who 
have a free modem included with their cable TV and telephone. Over the last few 
years we have also installed wireless routers in the CH so people can use the 
internet outside. Many individuals have installed wireless routers in units so 
they don't have to be linked to the wall to get service. We have a community 
password for our wireless routers so anyone can hook up.

We have satellite TV in the CH (3 connections) that we were able to hook up 
initially because a few people shared the cost. When everyone got used to it 
and no one turned into Zombie, we were able to get consent to include it in the 
budget. All the units can use the satellite dishes. Or hook up to individual 
cable connections. 

We have some premium channels in the CH but not a streaming service. Those of 
us who have streaming services take our laptops and stream to the CH TV from 

We also installed old-fashioned roof top antennas for people who just wanted 
better reception. We are next to the train tracks so it can be difficult if a 
long train and your favorite program are on the same schedule. (I missed the 
ending of The Good Wife for almost a year until I gave up and got cable.)

In general, the sense of the community is that we include everything in the 
condo fee — some use this and some use that but everyone’s experience is richer 
when things are available even if you only use them occasionally. But 20 years 
ago there were people who were adamantly opposed to even allowing TV in the CH, 
much less paying for it. 

I tried to do the same contract you have available at Cox but there were far 
too few people interested. We were going to take the contract but the divide 
the cost amongst those who actually used it. My hunch is that everyone would 
have paid in the end because it might feel weird not to if there were only 3-4 
of them. But we had a lot of people who never watched or were perfectly happy 
with over the air broadcasts — and there are lot of those channels in DC and 

I think the all-in-together is the best way to manage costs. Otherwise, it 
divides people and raises suspicions about who uses without paying. It doesn’t 
feel good.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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