The general manager of Comcast Cable in Montgomery County has resigned at a time when the customer complaints that spiked upward this summer have declined markedly.
Craig A. Snedeker stepped down early this month after nearly a decade with the company, Comcast spokesman Jim Gordon said. "We wish Craig Snedeker well as he pursues outside interests and spends more time with his family," Gordon said in a statement.
Snedeker did not return calls yesterday. In an interview in August, he gave no indication of plans to leave the company.
Montgomery County's cable office had recorded an unusually high number of complaints from Comcast customers in recent months, but the complaints are subsiding, said Jane E. Lawton, the county's cable administrator. Comcast "must be getting somewhat better," she said.
In the first five months of this year, the county recorded about 100 complaints a month from Comcast customers. The number of complaints peaked at 474 in July, with many customers citing interruptions in cable Internet service, technicians failing to show up for appointments, and Comcast canceling appointments without informing customers.
The number of complaints dropped to 377 last month, and the cable office has recorded 87 complaints in the first half of this month, Lawton said.
Comcast has attributed the surge in complaints to disruptions caused by its rival Verizon, which is installing underground fiber-optic cable in many parts of the county, as well as to problems caused by storms and Comcast's own upgrades. Comcast and Verizon, as well as utility companies, routinely share public rights of way.
Verizon officials have said that inadvertent cuts are unavoidable in a large-scale, subterranean construction project. "We certainly regret any damages that occur," Verizon spokeswoman Christine M. Reap said.
Comcast is the dominant cable provider in Montgomery and many parts of the Washington area, but it is facing increased competition as Verizon expands high-speed Internet service and prepares to offer television service over fiber-optic lines.
Snedeker's resignation was first reported yesterday in the Gazette newspapers.
In an August interview with The Washington Post, Snedeker said that 10 to 20 percent of the complaints about Comcast to the county were "Verizon-related."
Gordon said the company experienced a 47 percent increase this summer in "drop-related activity" -- problems in the connections between a home and a main cable line or along the main line -- which he said was "attributable in large part to Verizon activity."
That activity has declined in Montgomery, Gordon said. "It has now shifted to other counties."
Reap confirmed that Verizon's fiber-optic expansion has slowed in Montgomery and is picking up elsewhere in the Washington region.