The city of Rio Rancho and Comcast agreed to a nonexclusive franchise agreement in May, which grants Comcast the ability “to operate a cable television system and other services within the city limits by utilizing public places via the payment of franchise fees for a period of 10 years.” Among those other services is Xfinity, Comcast’s TV and internet service.

The agreement means that Comcast has the city’s permission to install and operate fiber, wires and equipment in city streets and other public rights-of-way in order to provide these services. The city also grants franchise authorities to public utilities and telecommunications providers.

Rio Rancho residents will soon have access to the full suite of broadband, video, voice, home management and business products and services.

Comcast has started its installation in residential areas. The city of Rio Rancho posted an update on the project Monday afternoon.

“This starts with 811 line spotting with spray paint markings in the right of way (ROW) and Public Utility Easement (PUE). Within the residential areas, the installation includes a combination of open trenching and underground boring. Boring is the primary installation method and is primarily within the PUE. The PUE lies 10 feet behind the back of sidewalk in the front of existing homes. Comcast, as an approved franchisee, within the City of Rancho has the right to place their facilities within the PUE and within the road rights-of-way. Restoration of disturbed landscaping and roadway infrastructure is required and shall be restored back to the condition of such property immediately prior to excavation/disturbance.”

Mayor Gregg Hull said Comcast bringing its services to Rio Rancho is a testament to the growth of the City of Vision.

“Comcast, I believe, has recognized the value of a city like Rio Rancho having over 100,000 individuals and somewhere around 40,000 homes within the city limits,” Hull said. “I’m glad we can finally put the urban legend to bed that the city of Rio Rancho had an exclusive agreement with any carrier. We’re grateful that Comcast has recognized the value of bringing their business to Rio Rancho, and we’re excited for the investment.”

That investment includes Comcast paying 5% of gross revenues to the city of Rio Rancho. That revenue will be used to fund and provide a variety of public services through the city’s general fund.

“Comcast is investing approximately $150 million over the next several years to bring our full suite of services to residents and businesses throughout Rio Rancho,” Julianne Phares, director of external affairs for Comcast in New Mexico and Arizona, said in August. “Residential customers will have access to Xfinity’s internet, mobile, TV and streaming, home security and home phone products. This includes the company’s Internet Essentials program that provides low-cost, high-speed broadband for income-constrained households.”

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can I do during this construction process?

  • Watch for the notifications. Comcast is using yard signs, door hangers, and where possible, knocking on doors to notify residents when construction is in their area.
  • Keep your pets in your house. If access is needed to your backyard, please make sure your pets are safe and secure during the time period provided by Comcast.
  • Be aware of construction workers. All construction workers and people placing door hanger messages will be wearing a safety vest and a badge identifying themselves as a Comcast employee or an authorized Comcast contractor.

Who can I contact with questions or specific concerns?

Multiple notifications via yard signs and door hangers to residents and businesses will be provided in advance of any work impacting your area. The door hanger will include a phone number to contact with any questions or concerns.

What type of equipment should I expect to see in my community throughout this process?

Below are some example images of what the vehicles and equipment will look like:

Image 1

Directional drill – used to create an underground path for the network

Image 2

Potholes – created as a safety procedure during the locate work to visibly confirm where utilities lines are underground. The holes are backfilled temporarily until a permanent patch is made, usually within 24 hours.

Image 3

Pedestal – an enclosure securing network connections

Image 4

Roll of conduit – used to enclose coax and fiber-optic cable underground

What does a construction site look like? 

The image below provides a high-level overview of what a typical construction site looks like from a bird’s eye view.

Image 5

Why is there a telecom pedestal (green box) in my yard?

To provide Comcast service in your community, they need to place above ground connection points that link to underground fiber lines. These connection points are pedestals or peds, which are generally light green plastic housing and located in public rights of way. Peds serve specific network engineering needs. Their above ground design and placement provides a more secure connection space and avoids service-impacting damage from water and ice. To ensure the highest quality connection, peds need to maintain a relatively close distance to the associated home or business. The combination of these factors – in addition to staying in the public right-of-way or utility easements – creates some critical limitations on where peds can be placed.

When will I be notified that Xfinity services will be available to me?

Residents should keep an eye out for a combination of notifications including but not limited to postcard messaging, door hangers, and letters. Notifications will be provided at various points during the construction process and when the address is serviceable. Once construction is underway in your area, estimated completion dates will be provided at: https://www.xfinity.com/mytown/