Residents’ views about a local government role for protection of privacy, security and consumer issues and regulation of the public right-of-way have not changed since 10 years ago, although concerns about these issues have increased

While 10 years ago there was a high level of concern related to information security, sale of personal information, invasion of privacy, and similar issues, it now is an overwhelming concern and one that people want their local governments to pay attention to (see Finding 4.3 and 4.6 for data and discussion on this topic).  The one caveat, is that populations that have a large distrust of government overall, also do not trust them to intervene positively in these arenas, but rather are concerned about the government themselves invading their privacy.

Local government continues to be the main regulator for use of the public right-of-way and residents continue to want to ensure that public safety is maintained and that aesthetics are maintained (see Finding 4.5 for data and discussion on this topic). 

Additionally, the need remains high for local governments to continue to be an effective force in consumer protection related to cable service because the local government (through the MHCRC) is the only level of government that directly assists cable customers with complaint resolution; tracks complaint trends and data to identify issues for further enforcement or legal action when necessary; and enforces local customer service standards.  While there have been some strides in increasing positive ratings of customer service characteristics, it is not at the level of the most highly regarded service providers.

As it did 10 years ago, the MHCRC continues to have a critical oversight role in monitoring the cable companies’ customer service response, and advocating for consumers when they have not been able to resolve complaints directly with the company. The fact that these complaints have dropped in 2019 from prior years (based on MHCRC annual complaint reports), which is consistent with the industry as a whole achieving a higher ACSI rating, indicates that this active oversight role is having an impact on improving customer service.