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monsoon

Mecklenburg Cable TV

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It appears that a consortium of local governments may very possibly make a move to get into the Cable TV business. The consortium consists of Meckenburg County, Huntersville Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville and Troutman and is looking to take over the assets and operations of bankrupt Adelphia which is the cable provider in this area. There are protests from Time Warner Cable and Comcast Cable who are also also interested in these assets, and who don't want to competition, but the consortium argues that it has first right of refusal on these assets in the fanchise agreements.

If this plan moves forward, Mecklenburg county would bear the legal costs of taking over the system and a board of directors would be named to run the system. It would be only the second time in NC that a municipality has operated a cable system in NC.

I find this to be a fascinating plan as it might finally mean some true competition for service in this area. I don't see any reason why they could not extend the system beyond the Lake area to compete in Charlotte and other surrounding areas. It might also bring lower costs and better services which are lacking from both Bell South and TWC. It's also interesting that so many municipalities got together so fast to form this consortium.

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wow, had no idea Adelphia was bankrupt.

Hopefully the plan will work and Mecklenbrug Cable happens, cuz If Comcast got it it would be a score for them since they currently have no cable operations in NC, and if Time Warner gets it well they will just get bigger :(... http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stori...y40.html?page=1

It would be only the second time in NC that a municipality has operated a cable system in NC.

What is the first?

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Is it Comcast or Comporium in Rock Hill? Whoever does Rock Hill's cable blows as does Charter which does the Boone cable so I hope the lake area stays away from those two. This would be a great plan if the area took over the cable up there.

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Is it Comcast or Comporium in Rock Hill? Whoever does Rock Hill's cable blows as does Charter which does the Boone cable so I hope the lake area stays away from those two. This would be a great plan if the area took over the cable up there.

It's Rock Hill-based Comporium in York and Lancaster counties (with the exception of Clover, which is served by Time Warner cable ironically).

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Maybe northern Meck cable will bring in a Winston-Salem station, perhaps WXII 12. :shades:

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That is very true. In fact federal franchise laws covering cable TV, specifically prevent the cable companies from bringing in remote broadcast network affiliates if there is one that can be viewed locally with an antenna. It protects the local monopoly on these broadcasts. Not good for the citizens, but good for the station owners.

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Well I am not sure where the municipal cable TV plans stand, but after a 14 hour outage yesterday, apparently we were switched to TWC. See here. This won't be the same TWC that serves Charlotte however. I am not sure of the difference but it's probably a due to mixture of technical and administrative. All of the cables here lead to Mooresville, not downtown Charlotte.

So far I have not seen any difference in the service. (though I only get the internet)

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Well I am not sure where the municipal cable TV plans stand, but after a 14 hour outage yesterday, apparently we were switched to TWC. See here. This won't be the same TWC that serves Charlotte however. I am not sure of the difference but it's probably a due to mixture of technical and administrative. All of the cables here lead to Mooresville, not downtown Charlotte.

So far I have not seen any difference in the service. (though I only get the internet)

Do you know if the cable lineup will change to the one Charlotte uses?

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It's Rock Hill-based Comporium in York and Lancaster counties (with the exception of Clover, which is served by Time Warner cable ironically).
Comporium was once run by right-wing nutjobs who wouldn't include certain cable channels in its line up. I believe Rock Hill was the last city in America to "get its MTV" because of this.

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Do you know if the cable lineup will change to the one Charlotte uses?

No, they have not said anything. A little history on this cable system. It was originally strung together together as Lakeside Cable to give people at the lake access cable programming. The cable system that served Mecklenburg county, Vision Cable, never made it to the lake area.

Lakeside had a terrible plant which and only could manage 30 channels or so. It was botch job of rigged cables, repeaters, and luck running from Mooresville to Huntersville and the reception was not that good. Later they were bought out by a Georgia cable company called Prestige Cable. They made a lot of improvements to the system and we could finally get about 50 channels and they were not blurry. But Prestige had a lot of issues so many people, including myself, moved to dishes in the late 90s. Prestige was then bought out by Adelphia which made more improvements to the system but corporate scandles caused them to go bankrupt.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the county there were two other cable systems. Vision Cable in the county, and CableVision in the city. Of the two Vision Cable had a much superior system with a lot more channels than what was available in Charlotte. Eventually CableVision bought out Vision Cable, but these systems were still operated independently. Maybe about 10 years or so ago, CableVision did a swaperoo with TWC which serves most this territory today. TWC went through a very expensive systemwide upgrade of laying fiber which made today's digitial TV, internet and other stuff possible. There ceased to be any difference between the county TWC and the city TWC.

Now if the purchase of Adelphia's plant by TWC survives the expected challenge of the the consortium that I mentioned above, Time Warner's conquest of Mecklenburg will be complete.

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Ok, apparently TWC is only managing Adelphia's system here in Meck & Iredell until a court decides if the towns have the right to take over the system. Sounds as if the court, which will decide in October, goes that way, we will have the first municipal cable system in the area.

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There was totally useless story about his on WCNC or WSOC last night (I don't remember which) where they basically took a video of the TWC plastic sign draped over Adelphia's sign. Thank goodness there is good local reporting on the issue and now the real story is known.

Looks as if the judge has agreed the towns have the right to buy the system and the towns are in the process of deciding if it makes sense or not. In the meantime, TWC has agreed to manage the system with absolutely no changes until they make their decision hopefully by October.

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The local paper has put out another update on the status of Mecklenburg and the 5 towns in purchasing a cable company. It's manly focused on the idea that the public ought to get a public hearing on the matter but that isn't likely to happen. It also sounds as if they may actually go through with the deal because Mecklenburg country will guaranteed the bonds that will be issued to pay for the system.

I can say that it is rather strange now as we still go to the old adelphia pages and phone # for service, but people identifying themselves as TWC answer some of the calls and at other times, there is no indication on who is providing the service. It would seem right now it isn't possible to sign up for service at least through their web pages.

According to that article, if the local municipalities do buy the system, day to day operations will be tuned over to a communications firm located in Charlotte so that in fact would be good for the local economy.

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