Our boating community is in an uproar over the discontinuation of the NOAA Channel 25 live radar channel. Comcast has removed a service that was a life line for our community. Comcast has put peoples lives in danger by removing the very source of information that has kept people safe. The ability to see the live radar, where storms are located and where they are heading is very important to our coastal communities in Naples, Florida.
A lot of people are considering switching to Dish Network or Direct TV, myself included.
I have called several times Comcast's customer service and I was told both times there is no complaint department. I have gone on Comcast's website and emailed customer service. I have also sent messages on their online forms voicing my complaint, and I have never received a response. Nothing!
The Weather Channel DOES NOT show the same radar and they do not show radar south of the City of Naples, so all areas south of there including Isles of Capri, Marco Island, and 10,000 Islands cannot see the current radar.
As I write this I have The Weather Channel 25 on my TV and there is a Severe Thunder Storm Warning on the screen with beeping alerts. As I am writing this I timed how long it took for the radar to come on the screen so I could see where the storms are, After waiting 8 minutes their local on the 8's showed the forecast and NO RADAR!! Even at a time with strong storms around us. It took 18 minutes before a radar image appeared, a quick shot of south Florida, then it zoomed in with central Naples at the bottom of the zoom, not our area.This channel is useless and does not replace the life line we were all used to.
If you can help the people in our area find a contact within Comcast to hear our request to get the NOAA Radar station back it would be greatly appreciated. At least a dozen people have been trying without any luck.
Also I use the radar from the National Weather Service online for my local area. When I was getting the Weather Channel had the same thing with severe storms moving through the area and they were running a program on how the weather changed history.
Also was that NOAA radar channel a sub channel of a local station? I can get weather radars and NWS forecasts from a sub channel of the local PBS station. If that was the case you could contact them and see what they say.
I would also contact NOAA and see. If it was a NOAA channel it may have been cut with all the budget issues facing the government. Although that should be considered a public access/governmental channel which are covered via the franchise fee we pay as cable users.
Thanks for the email address, I sent a yet another message to them.
There are a lot of older residents on our island that either do not have a computer or do not want to go through the trouble to find LIVE radar online. They are now in the dark or have to wait 20 minutes for the Weather Channel to show the radar in a quick second.
so your telling me boaters use a cable channel to tell them where storms are at sea? What do they do when they are at sea? If you have a boat you must have a computer and you can certainly find local radar online. Dont hold your breath on that channel coming back. I would start to search alternatives
You are not understanding how important the live radar is to our island community. The weather in South Florida can be very violent with 5 inches of rain in any storm. In the summer we expect and get daily thunder storms that come through our area, some with 50 mph winds. We need to know where they are and which way thay are going to plan our activities like boating, shopping, and traveling around in general. Florida is the lightning capital of the world and we have the highest death rate due to lightning. We also experience tornado's in these storms, I don't have to say how deadly they are. Being caught in a storm can be life threatening.
An example of how boaters, fisherman, island residents, and their families use LIVE Radar:
A friend or family member is out on the water fishing, boating, etc. A family member or friend see's on the NOAA Radar a storm is approaching so they contact the boater to come to shore.
A person wants to take their boat out to watch the sunset, they look at the radar and see if there are any storms and which way they are going. They can plan if they have enough time for the 1 hour trip.
A person needs to make a trip to town, they look at the live radar to make sure they are not driving during the storm. Driving in the the rain in Florida is the equivalent to driving on black ice, and the reduced visability during downpours is dangerous.
A person wants to take their dog for a walk, go for a bike ride, etc. so they look at the Radar to see if there are any storms and if so, how long they have before a storm arrives.
A person walks outside and sees black clouds in the distance, they come inside and look at the radar to see what to expect--how large the storm is, what direction it is going in.
Companies that have employees working outside look at the radar, see how much time they have before pulling their workers off the worksite. Many companies would leave the live radar on the TV all day -- this is NOT the same as going to the computer.
Local marina's always had that channel on the TV so they could warn boat rental customers and boaters to come to shore.
Restaurants, bars, stores would leave the live radar playing on a TV so customers can take action if storms are approaching. Everywhere you went you would see the radar somewhere, not anymore
The list goes on but hopefully I have given you an idea of how important the TV live radar is to our community. The computer is NOT an option for most people.
The NOAA Live Radar on Channel 25 was a "life line" for our community--everywhere you went the radar was playing on the TV. The new Weather Station broadcast only shows the radar for a couple of seconds 3 times an hour, thats it! The NOAA station was 24/7.
If you know anyone that is an advance amateur radio operator. They can set up a broadcast that shows the nws radar 24/7. It might be a slight delay. Certain amateur radio can operator a low powered broadcast station. The station the operates need that license. You may hear them identify their station even so ofter. It called ATV. Amateur television. From my understanding they are allowed to rebroadcast the radar because of Skywarn and they do help mariners. The equipment is not cheap though.
Great news, Comcast finally responded! I received a call from Comcast's Fort Myers office. The gentleman that called is the Corporate Liaison in charge of Southwest Florida. He was very upset that we have not been able to get an answer and he said he will get his customer service reps up to speed on the situation.
I was told the provider that fed the broadcast of our old Channel 25 was using an older system that the people at Comcast knew would die some day, which it did. The gentleman that called was involved in the meetings that took place when the station went down. At first Corporate chose to cancel the service entirely, to eliminate the channel, but at this gentleman's insistence, they have reconsidered. This gentleman has been an advocate for the return of our radar. He is a boater living in Fort Myers and he knows most people in Southwest Florida rely on the radar, and has heard a lot of complaints. Since the station went off air they have been actively working to find a suitable substitute with a similar 24/7 broadcast, but they have not found one yet.
The Corporate Liasion wanted me to extend an apology to all of us for their lack of attention to our inquiries, he wants us to know they are on top of the situation and we will get a comparable replacement station soon.
For those of you who have the more expensive Preferred Service (which most of us don't), you can see the live radar on Channel 101, it is located on the lower left corner of the screen.
UnhapFisherman, did you read the post above yours?
If you did you would know that there is a search for a replacement. Comcast is not at fault for the failure of someone else's system. What do you expect the CEO to do-hold a gun to the head of the provider and make him fix his system?
Hopefully this will be resolved soon and your area can once again receive the information you need.
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How long does it take Comcast to fix a situation? Last June they promised action soon for the return of the weather radar channel. They have had a message on the televsion channel for at least six months that the weather channel will return soon. What is their definition of soon?
How long does it take Comcast to fix a situation? Last June they promised action soon for the return of the weather radar channel. They have had a message on the television channel for at least six months that the weather channel will return soon. What is their definition of soon?
I just came across this thread today so apologies for the perceived late response. I did reach out to the local Comcast team today that oversees your area about this situation. I can provide the below as a general update:
"While Comcast engaged in extensive program negotiations for a local weather radar product, we were not successful in reaching an agreement, and as a result we will be unable to carry the video programming portion for channel 25. A variety of factors were considered including cost and the availability of similar weather programming and information. We will continue to provide NOAA Weather Radar audio service on channel 25.”
Comcast offers three great sources for weather information for our Lee and Collier County customers:
The Weather Channel on Expanded Basic/Digital Starter, channel 47, and WeatherScan, on Digital Preferred, channel 101.
The Weather Channel is a 24-hour resource for regional and local weather forecasts, storm alerts, and long-range forecasts, as well as extended coverage of damaging storms and floods.
WeatherScan offers 24/7 uninterrupted local weather information with local weather conditions and local radar.
We will also continue to provide NOAA Weather Radio service on channel 25.
There is an abundance of options for accurate, informed and timely weather-related information including television, Internet, radio and various smartphone and tablet apps.
Local broadcasters offer weather related broadcasts
WBBH-NBC – channel 2
WBBH-Weather – channel 216
WFTX-FOX – channel 4
WINK-CBS – channel 5
WZVN-ABC – channel 7
You can also find NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) broadcast on your NOAA Weather Radio on one of seven VHF frequencies from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz; and also online by zip code at: http://www.noaa.gov/
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